I think that motivation and engagement is one of the hardest things a teacher must overcome if they want their students to achieve. The students have no choice but to be at school so it is important to get them engaged and motivated to succeed. Obviously, one of the biggest motivators teachers use is assigning a grade to something so the students will put forth effort if they want a good grade. Woolfolk talks about the many ways to motivate a student such as providing reinforcers for good work, making it appeal to their goals to fulfill, and making a learning community to have the students motivate each other (Woolfolk, 2014. p. 479-80).
It is also important to assess your students in order to keep track of where they are at. For history, I think that exit slips and check your understandings are great ways to see if the students are understanding the material and its quick enough where I as the teacher can make changes to the lesson. I personally liked backward design because it allows me to figure out what needs to happen during a unit like what goals and key things the students will need to know by the end. I think that it is also a good way to stay on track and have the ability to change on the fly.
An article in the Wisconsin Education Association Council talks about the importance of backward design. The author highlights that students live test to test and that they don’t understand or retain the material once they are on to the next unit. He also goes on to say that backward design allows for teachers to teach the students the big picture about a topic and it helps them dig deeper into a unit and hope that they retain the information (Buehl, 2000). I agree with this because I always lived test to test and forgetting the information that I just learned. I think that backwards design focuses on the big picture rather than just important words or facts.
Buehl, Doug. (October 2000). “Backward Design; Forward Thinking”. Wisconsin Education Association Council. Retrieved from http://weac.org/articles/read_backwards/
Woolfolk, A. E. (2014). Educational Psychology: Active Learning Edition (12th ed.). Boston. Pearson
STAGE 1 – DESIRED RESULTS
|Unit Title: Interwar Period: Boom to Bust
Established Goals: How did the interwar period foster prosperity but lead to collapse? Explain what led to depression not just in the US but the entire world. How did life in America change during the time of prosperity as well as during depression
|Understandings: Students will understand that…
• What goes up must come down
• During the 20s, American culture and economics changed
• Credit and Stocks are big reason for bust
• Why was the US booming after WW1?
• How was middle class life affected?
• What led to depression?
• How was life affected during depression?
• How did the US get out of depression?
|Students will know:
• Important figures during this time
• Key facts about the time period
• Key vocab words
|Students will be able to:
• Use vocab words in context
• Interpret important figures’ motivations and actions
• Express findings orally and in writing
STAGE 2 – ASSESSMENT EVIDENCE
• Do a credit and stock fame & afterwards have students write about experience
• Project about life in 20s compared to 30s
• Have exit slips to check understanding
• Have a test at end of unit
• Have students present on their projects
• Will student be able to identify different causes and consequences?
• Explain how key figures impacted this period with explicit facts and evidence
STAGE 3 – LEARNING PLAN
|Summary of Learning Activities:
• Start out with end of WW1 and ask students to think about and write down what they think will happen in the coming years
• Use primary and secondary sources to dive deeper into people, events, etc.
• Watch short videos at start of class to review topics from previous day
• Have mini debates/discussions to allow students to voice their opinions
• Use worksheets to get students working together and thinking critically about the topic
• Do stock/credit simulations
For my lesson plan I wanted to get the students to understand why the events during the interwar period occurred more than key facts. I think the essential questions allows the students to think critically and ask questions related to the topic. As I said above, exit slips and CYUs are a great way to see if the students understand the material and I have if they aren’t, I have an action plan to change that. I believe that history should be an active journey rather than through lecturing so I have activities where the students will be able to express their opinions and learn from one another rather than just from me. Overall I like using the backward design method because I could see the whole unit through and make it clear what I want the students to understand by the end of the unit.