UbD Educators

Based upon some discussion about my re-reading of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design, I created a wiki for those of you who are interested in exploring this book together this summer and sharing our UbD lesson plans. As the authors say in chapter one, “Backward Design,” “In addition to using the UbD … Continue reading UbD Educators

Mel Levine and UbD

Reading: You should have received a copy of Dr. Mel Levine’s A Mind at a Time in your course Prep-Packet. Please read Chapter 2 “The Ways of Learning”, Chapter 5, “Ways with Words: Our Language System” and Chapter 8, “Some Peeks at a Mind’s Peaks: Our Higher Thinking System.” Well, that’s one required chapter down. … Continue reading Mel Levine and UbD

I Don’t Do That Anymore

One result of keeping a blog for over ten years is that I have a record of a lot of the things I’ve tried in my classroom over the last ten years, including some of my earliest forays into using backward design in curriculum planning and assessing understanding with Socratic seminars (first ever mention was … Continue reading I Don’t Do That Anymore

Slice of Life #3: Leading and Learning

Today marks the end of my first year leading the English department at my school. I have been department chair previously, but the circumstances were quite different. In that situation, I led a department with four other teachers, grades 9-12, at a relatively small Jewish school. My department this year included 14 people teaching grades … Continue reading Slice of Life #3: Leading and Learning

Remembering Grant Wiggins

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know how influential Grant Wiggins’s thinking has been on me (and so many other educators). Many years ago, I decided to read Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe after Jay McTighe visited my school and led a helpful PD session. I was … Continue reading Remembering Grant Wiggins

On the Horizon

I’m interrupting my alphabet series as the year closes. Today was our last day of post-planning, or post-sessionals, as my school terms it. I had a great year. My students were awesome, and I tried some great things in my classroom. I don’t think I’ve mentioned my changing role on this blog yet. A few … Continue reading On the Horizon

A is for Assessment

I have thought for some time that if I ever get myself together enough to write a book in the field of education, my subject would be assessment. It’s probably the issue I think about the most often. It truly bothers me that it’s done so poorly—not just with standardized tests, but also in classroom … Continue reading A is for Assessment

Professional Development Books that Influenced my Teaching Practices

I am asked often enough for recommendations of this sort of thing that I thought I’d share. Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe was the first truly useful and completely life-changing professional development book I read. I utterly altered the way I taught after reading it. It seems obvious to think about larger … Continue reading Professional Development Books that Influenced my Teaching Practices