As a Catholic school teacher, I am given standards and the freedom to teach the standards anyway I would like. With this freedom comes great responsibility. Standards are a guide to my teaching, it is my responsibility to utilize the resources given to me, so the children have a rich education. In this unit, I have explored backwards mapping, objective writing and unpacking a standard. These are all great tools to use to make sure my students are fully grasping each standard.
I enjoyed looking more in depth and unpacking 2 standards from the Archdiocese of Washington. I learned that a standard can have more then one objective. It was interesting taking the standard apart and identify actions and ideas. Backwards mapping, I worked with an Archdiocese of Washington Science standard. (The Physical Setting: Students observe changes of Earth and the sky. They continue to explore the concepts of energy and motion.) I chose to work with this standard because Science is an area I need improvement on teaching. After taking apart the standard, I found it very easy to create lessons from the standards and find the “big ideas.” Backward mapping is a strategy I will be using regularly. I found it very satisfying to take a standard and create a full unit. I felt like I was being very thorough, covering every aspect. Backwards mapping was also fairly easy to complete. I must say at first I was very overwhelmed. I looked at a few examples online before beginning. In this unit I was also able to practice objective writing. I have to write objectives for my lessons every week. This is a weakness of mine. With this activity, I struggled to make clear and concise objectives for each activity. I found it difficult to describe what I wanted my kids to be able to do without explaining the activity. This will be something I will work on. “SMART” acronym is an easy way to remember all requirements.
I feel this module has been one of the most important thus far. Standards are a guide to the students learning and it is crucial I am comfortable with them. I look forward to changing the way I do lesson planning, to be a more effective teacch. I enjoyed the practice and feedback with the unit.