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Curricular Elements Commonly Captured in Unit Planners

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Curricular Elements Commonly Captured in Unit Planners

When schools embark on the effort of documenting their curriculum in terms of unitized curriculum maps, one of the first tools they should think through is the unit planner and the curricular elements it should include.

When schools embark on the effort of documenting their curriculum in terms of unitized curriculum maps, one of the first tools they should think through is the unit planner and the curricular elements it should include.

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Curricular Elements Commonly Captured in Unit Planners

  1. 1. Curricular Elements Commonly Captured in Unit Planners Dr. Suad Alazzam suad [at] portlandstate.org © 2011 All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. • When schools embark on the effort of documenting their curriculum in terms of unitized curriculum maps, one of the first tools they should think through is the unit planner and the curricular elements it should include.
  3. 3. There are eight elements that schools commonly include in their unit planners. These are: 1. Curriculum Standards 2. Big Ideas 3. Essential Questions 4. Content 5. Skills 6. Assessments 7. Learning Activities 8. Teaching Resources
  4. 4. A possible lay-out of a unit planner that includes the common eight curricular elements:
  5. 5. Let’s now briefly define each of these eight curricular elements.
  6. 6. 1. Curriculum Standards Standards refer to the intended learning outcomes in terms of what the students need to know and be able to do at each grade/ stage level in each subject area.
  7. 7. 2. Big Ideas Big ideas refer to the concepts, abstracts, and generalizations that function like umbrellas connecting the bits and pieces of information introduced and covered in different subjects. Big ideas transcend disciplinary boundaries and encourage learners to reach deep understandings.
  8. 8. 3. Essential Questions Essential questions are the Big Ideas (concepts, abstracts, and generalizations) formulated as questions that encourage students to research, inquire, and think critically. They provide frameworks for interdisciplinary connections as well.
  9. 9. 4. Content Content is the declarative knowledge. It is what we want students to know in terms of information and facts related to the topic of the taught unit.
  10. 10. 5. Skills Skills refer to the procedural knowledge. It is what we want the students to be able to do as an outcome of learning the unit under study.
  11. 11. 6. Assessments Assessment is measuring student learning of intended content and skills. Assessment could be formative (assessment for learning) or summative (assessment of learning). Assessment methods should be diversified and not limited to the traditional testing of memorized information.
  12. 12. 7. Learning Activities Learning activities refer to the opportunities offered for students in the classroom to learn the intended content and acquire the intended skills. It should be differentiated based on the individual differences of the learners such as ability levels, interest, learning style, etc.
  13. 13. 8. Teaching Resources Teaching resources are the aids employed by the teacher to carry out the learning activities within the unit to help the students learn the intended content and skills. This includes digital and hard-copy materials among others.
  14. 14. Remember that the presented generic unit planner can by adapted to fit the unique requirements of your school or curriculum programs. Do not hesitate to send along any questions.
  15. 15. Thank You! Dr. Suad Alazzam suad [at] portlandstate.org © 2011 All Rights Reserved

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