Essential question: How does my unit plan integrate best practices and theory of differentiated instruction?
Below is a video of the final activity I plan to use as a performance assessment.
Before teaching this unit I would like to create a bubble map showing each type of energy we learned about in the last chapter. That way students can see all the types and realize that we are focusing on one type in the next chapter of the book: thermal energy. We have already learned what thermal energy is, we just haven't applied that learning yet. I want to see what they already know.
For teaching this unit I want to give students some background information through an assigned reading and some videos. In the assigned reading students will be asked to highlight and take notes through an online program called actively learn. Then they will respond to questions. I will give feedback as they respond and if they get the answers wrong they can ask for a reset. Then I will ask students to log-in to EDpuzzle and watch some videos. The video will pause and ask students to respond to questions. If they student does not know the answer they can rewatch that part of the video. Finally I will wrap up the teacher focused part with a Kahoot game to assess student understanding before moving onto the project. If students do poorly on the Kahoot I will go back and reteach the parts they do poorly on. Tomlinson (2014) says that instruction will work better if you use assessments to direct the class to the learning targets.
The next phase of the unit will be a project. I wrote approximate days for this but different parts may take longer or shorter and I will adjust as needed. For this project, students will construct a house out of paper and other material and will measure the temperature of various parts of the house to see heat loss. The end goal is to create the most efficient house while keeping cost low. Smith and Thorne (2009), state that students need options, and to feel included in decisions, rather than being told what to do. In this project students will only be told the goal, not how to meet the goal. This is where the students have to determine what is best and how they approach the problem. This means no cheating. Jarrett (2016) says that if students are engaged then they will put in the the work. School is no longer about the grade but rather about solving the problem. If students aren't focused on the grade they will be doing their own work according to Kohn (2008).
Here are the steps for the project:
In my lesson I have reading, videos, questions to respond to, hands on application, and writing components. "If we provide a variety of ways to explore the content outcomes, learners find different ways to connect" (McCarthy 2014).
Jarrett, K. (2016, February 11). Middle School Maker Journey: Assessment in an Ungraded Classroom. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org
Kohn, A. (2008). Who’s Cheating Whom? Phi Delta Kappan. Retrieved March 26, 2016, from http://www.alfiekohn.org/article/whos-cheating/
McCarthy, J. (2014). 3 Ways to Plan for Diverse Learners: What Teachers Do. Retrieved January 27, 2016, from http://www.edutopia.org
Smith, Grace E., and Throne, Stephanie. Differentiating Instruction with Technology in Middle School Classrooms. Eugene, OR, USA: ISTE, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 15 January 2016.
Tomlinson, C. (2014, May). Chapter 1. What Is a Differentiated Classroom? Retrieved January 27, 2016, from http://www.ascd.org
Williams, K. (n.d.). 8 Lessons Learned on Differentiating Instruction | Scholastic.com. Retrieved January 27, 2016, from http://www.scholastic.com