Anyone else in the midst of writing lesson plans? Here are a few things that run through my mind as I plan:
- How will students' thinking change over the course of the lesson? Is this initial learning or are we going deeper on a topic or skill they already know something about?
- How will students demonstrate the change in thinking? In the book, Learning Targets, Moss and Burkhart refer to this as the "performance of understanding." For example, in reading, will they demonstrate a metacognitive strategy (from a reader's stance) or be able to explain the intentions of the author (author's stance)? In math, science, or social studies, we might what them to demonstrate understanding an important concept or develop or enhance the use of a skill (procedural knowledge/flexibility).
- Once I have an idea of the performance of understanding, I am ready to write the success criteria. Think of success criteria as the bridge between the learning target and what students will know and be able to do (better) at the end of the lesson. Students should be able to refer back to the success criteria as they work on the performance of understanding.
This formative learning cycle should conclude with students explaining what they have learned and how their thinking has changed. This is where the rigor lives. These questions go beyond asking for retrieval. Students must compare what they know or can do now to where they were before the lesson. They should go beyond what has already been processed in the lesson. We are looking for students to make sense of what they have done and integrate it into their schema for future use.