Understanding by Design: Crafting Understandings

As I read “Crafting Understandings” in Understanding by Design, I was struck by the same realization as the health teacher Bob, whom Wiggins and McTighe use as an illustration throughout the book: “Boy, this is difficult, but I already see the benefits of getting sharper on what, specifically, my students need to come away understanding” … Continue reading Understanding by Design: Crafting Understandings

Understanding by Design: Essential Questions

As I read the chapter “Essential Questions: Doorways to Understanding” in Understanding by Design, I realized that many educators I know have an erroneous understanding of what essential questions are and how to use them.  For instance, I can remember the middle school principal I worked with encouraging me to post essential questions on my … Continue reading Understanding by Design: Essential Questions

Understanding by Design: The Six Facets of Understanding

Of all the chapters of Understanding by Design I’ve read up to this point, I found this one to be the most engaging. If you are familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy, much of what is presented in this chapter will not be new, but reading it made me realize that I have come further than I … Continue reading Understanding by Design: The Six Facets of Understanding

Understanding by Design: Gaining Clarity on Our Goals

I had a great deal of difficulty with this chapter. It probably didn’t help that my reading of it was rather disjointed — I have two small children here at home, and I probably needed to marshal all my concentration and read it in the library or somewhere quiet. The chapter describes and summarizes the … Continue reading Understanding by Design: Gaining Clarity on Our Goals

Understanding by Design: Understanding Understanding

An alternative title for this chapter of Understanding by Design might be “Everything You Thought You Knew about Teaching and Assessment is Wrong.”  Perhaps that is somewhat hyperbolic, but not much. I consider myself an autodidact — perhaps not in the sense of being largely self-taught, but in the sense that I have taught myself … Continue reading Understanding by Design: Understanding Understanding

Understanding by Design: Backward Design

Chapter One of Understanding by Design is an introduction to the concept of Backward Design, which I think is best summarized in Wiggins and McTighe’s statement that “We [teachers] cannot say how to teach for understanding or which material and activities to use until we are quite clear about which specific understandings we are after … Continue reading Understanding by Design: Backward Design

Understanding by Design: Introduction

As I read Grant Wiggins’ and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design, I have decided to share my thoughts — my reading journal, if you will, as a few readers expressed an interest in hearing my thoughts about this book. I could be misrepresenting my readers, and please tell me if I am, but I sense … Continue reading Understanding by Design: Introduction

Teacher-y Books

My copies of Jim Burke’s The Teacher’s Daybook, 2007-2008 and Understanding by Design, 2nd Ed. by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe arrived from Amazon today, and I’ve already begun working out my calendar in the daybook.  If you haven’t used this planner before, you might want to check it out, provided that your school doesn’t … Continue reading Teacher-y Books

Understanding by Design

I have been looking through Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins’ Understanding by Design: Professional Development Workbook most of the day today. I am working on a unit on the Harlem Renaissance using the ideas behind UbD, and I would appreciate feedback. You can download the unit (one page) in MS Word. I am most concerned … Continue reading Understanding by Design