It is now the end of the school year for DYN and this is where we take the opportunity to reflect on teaching and learning as it relates to the curriculum.
This past week and the next two weeks of June we will spend analyzing the Record Label Class, Digital Storytelling, and afterschool pods.
Each mentor will be expected to analyze her units, making sure that the following are intact:
- 1) each unit has a master project attached to it; that each deliverable has a rubric criteria associated with it for assessment purposes;
- 2) each lesson created includes activities leading up to the appropriate deliverable;
- 3) activities are structured in a way that is engaging and meets the learning outcome; and
- 4) overall that the lesson in each unit makes sense and does what it needs to meet the learning goal(s).
In order to achieve this, mentors were provided with a curriculum analysis template that was created by me. The template simply outlines the content of the unit, such as the project, rubrics, duration of lessons, and the activities related to the deliverables. The purpose of the template is to help the mentors see how all the pieces of the curriculum are connected. Based on the framework (curriculum, instruction, and assessment) that DICE provides, mentors are able to redesign the curriculum.
They do this by looking at their units and then pose questions in the curriculum template that enables them to explore:
- what might be missing;
- what didn’t work well; and/or
- what needs to be changed as it relates to their overall units.
For example, one mentor took the process one step further in her planning by mapping out units to ensure they reflect the lessons learned from this school year and meet the expectations.
Having the units, lessons, projects, and rubrics housed in DICE has enabled the facilitation of curriculum conversations and processes that help mentors see the big picture. DICE has allowed me, as a coach, to facilitate substantive reflection and sharing that allows mentors to draw conclusions; and frame what the mentors understand so that we all share one common language.
Next school year, the mentors will be able to apply the revisions they made this year in their classrooms and once again, with the help of DICE, we will be able to reflect, determine lessons learned, frame the lessons in their proper context, and apply those lessons as we continue to remix lessons using this process and tool. I believe that mentors have found this process to be helpful because it allows them to analyze what’s been done, which leads them to what needs to be changed.
It has been great to see them engage in this process, and I do believe that doing this work now as opposed to over the summer proves to be beneficial as well because they are still in the “willingness to learn” phase.