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– Discussion 1


After viewing the videos Improving Practice with Sarah Brown Wessling and Embedded Formative Assessments, and after reading Releasing Responsibility by Fisher and Frey, discuss the following:


Part 1
Sarah Brown Wessling remarks; “It is not about ways of delivering content as much as it is about ways of getting students to become thinkers; ways for students to be more autonomous.” 


  • What evidence did you observe in Ms Wessling’s video that her students were becoming thinkers? 
  • How is this an example of the teacher assessing FOR learning?


Part 2
In Dylan William’s video on embedded formative assessments, he mentions five strategies for teachers to meet students’ learning needs more effectively.


  • Describe what you observed from Ms. Wessling’s video that represents each of these strategies. 
  • Were there any that you did not observe?
  • What evidence was there of Ms. Wessling’s students examining their own thinking?
  • What evidence did you find to suggest she designed her instruction to meet instructional learning objectives in several areas of development (Think Bloom’s)?
  • What did you see from her video that you’d like to try (remember best practices are transferrable across grade and age levels)?


Guided Response: Respond to a minimum of two classmates. What ideas did you gather from their observations that were different from your own? Provide constructive feedback regarding the strategies they’d like to try in their own current or future setting.


Discussion 2


Discuss the following:


  • What evidence did you see in the video New Teacher Survival Guide: Planning linking the concept of beginning with the end in mind and formative assessment?
  • What did the instructional coach/department chair say is the question you ask yourself to assess learning?
  • While the teacher used the Gradual Release model, her pacing was off and affected her ability to fully assess her students.  Determine how using a structured instructional plan could aid you in keeping track of your pacing and allow assessment to occur.
  • Discern how using a structured instructional plan could aid you in keeping track of your pacing and allow assessment to occur.


Guided Response:  Respond to a minimum of two classmates’ posts.  How was their examination of formative assessment and beginning with the end in mind similar or different from yours? Provide specific feedback regarding your classmates’ ideas about the value of a structured instructional plan in keeping track of pacing and assessment opportunities.




Instructional Plan Design Analysis


Three instructional plan templates constructed by a variety of leaders in education provide solid examples of what quality instructional plans should include. The work of Madeline Hunter dates the furthest back and is still used today, primarily in the elementary setting. Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe provide a more modern approach to curriculum and lesson design with their model of Understanding by Design (UbD). Others, as modeled by the New York State Educational Department, work closely to align their instructional plans with the Common Core State Standards.


Review each of the provided instructional plan designs:



 Analyze each instructional plan and structure a Word document, essay-style as such:


  1. Introduction: Introduce the essential elements, purpose, and value of creating and following a high-quality instructional plan. Include a thesis stating your intent to highlight key elements of each respective plan as well as your intent to identify what you find to be the most effective plan while justifying your reasoning.
  2. Body: Discuss the following for EACH instructional plan design. (Do not list—this is paragraph format without headings/subheadings.)
    • The source’s name (i.e.; Hunter).
    • Key components representing most essential instructional plan requirements (standard, objective, activities, assessments, etc.).
    • Unique components (What makes each plan different from the others? What is notably missing or added compared to the others?).
    • Description of how Gradual Release of Responsibility Model is or is not represented.
    • Description of how assessment is embedded and potentially supports informing a teacher of student mastery of the objective(s).
    • Evidence that the instruction plan stimulates critical thinking.


Your intent in this first part is to:


    • Inform the reader through the introduction and body.
    • Identify the instructional plan template that YOU believe is the most well-rounded and high-quality and justify your reasons with research and examples.
  1. Conclusion: Make a selection between the three templates as to which one represents the best instructional plan to you. Include the key elements you’ve explored thus far. Explain its strengths, and recommend two ways to make it more effective and high quality. Be sure to justify why enacting your recommendations would make it better. Your essay will be between four to five pages, not including the required cover and reference pages, and should follow APA formatting requirements. You must include a minimum of five peer-reviewed articles or web references (in addition to the textbook), including the three from which the templates came, at least one from any reference used in Weeks One or Two, and one outside source of your own.


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