We made it to the end of course one! I have learned so many valuable tools in this course and have enjoyed all of the conversations that I have had with teachers all over the world! In a year that has been so lonely and isolating, it is great to be able to connect with other teachers and remember the reason that we got into the profession in the first place. I have been without students in my classroom since October 2 and just when we thought we would head back, there were a spike of COVID cases in my village. Much of what I have done this year does not resemble the teaching that I am accustomed to and love doing. Top that with a never ending winter and it is easy to see how one can feel defeated!
I appreciate having everyone in my cohort to remind me of why teaching is the greatest profession on the planet!
I realize that this unit plan will probably go longer than the three weeks I planned for. A difficult part for me was trying to figure out how much time I would need for students I haven’t met yet! The ELA learning block time would also be a huge factor. The amount of standards that will be covered allows for the expansion of the unit.
I simply followed the questions given to answer about my unit plan. They are as follows:
Why did you choose this topic? These standards?
Social justice and gender equality is something that is very important to me and my teaching. When I first started thinking about this end of course project, I reached out to my next year’s school to ask a bit about what their curriculum looked like. It will be my first year teaching at a PYP school and I was curious about the units of inquiry and how I could incorporate my passion for social justice into that. I found that I would be able to work it into “Sharing the Planet” as my class would be learning about women from all over the world and their contributions to society.
I then looked at the US Common Core standards and the ISTE technology standards to see how I could incorporate those into my vision for what I wanted. There are so many standards that match what I am going for and this is truly a cross curricular unit of study. At times, I became a bit overwhelmed. Without knowing the class, I am relying on their prior knowledge to incorporate some of the standards I have put. This unit would need to come after prior teachings or a pre-assessment to see what skills are known.
If you revamped a previously created learning experience, what have you changed and why? What’s been added and/or removed? Why?
This was not taken from a previous learning experience.
How was this learning experience (unit plan) different from or similar to other learning experiences (unit plans) you have designed?
For the previous four years, I have been using the standards that were designed by my international school in China; however, this year I have been working in the United States. For this reason, I have been using the CCSS to guide my instruction. While looking through the standards, I realized that so many of them overlap and are not as “pinpointed” as I would like them to be. Many simply provide an overview of the topic instead of diving into depth. While this can be frustrating at times, it allows for a lot of teacher autonomy when it comes to delivering a lesson.
When creating a lesson in the past, I never really thought, “How will I incorporate technology into this?” It is something that happened organically as I planned the lesson. I went into this unit plan with a clear idea of “How can I use technology to showcase learning?” I liked having that guiding point because it lead me to be focused on the end goal.
How does this learning experience (unit plan) relate to what you learned in Course 1?
I have loved this course and I have a feeling that I will love the courses to come. Since the beginning of this course, I have been thinking about how I can use the internet to create a connected learning experience. This plan really allowed me to dive deeper into that idea. As I look at the plan, I know that it can evolve and change as I teach it. I can find out what works well and what needs a bit more tweaking.
What has influenced you the most in Course one and how is that reflected in your learning experience/unit plan?
Wow. This is a tough one to answer!
I think I have been most influenced by the idea of connected learning and how that can really enhance the learning experience of my students. I love the idea of being able to give real time feedback and also look at what other students are doing to get ideas. I also like the fact that this clearly documents a learning experience and that others, outside of the classroom, are able to look and say, “This is what Mr. Inman’s class is learning.” It also documents that progress that students make throughout their year. I would love to be able to do blogs to document learning experiences from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. It would be great for students to have a digital portfolio where they could say, “Look what I learned!”
What outcomes do you hope to see when students complete this learning experience/unit?
There are many different outcomes that I would like to see my students learning in this unit. The first thing is that I would like for them to get a deep understanding of how women have contributed to the society that we live in. I want them to start thinking about gender equality. I want them to reach their own conclusions that women deserve the same opportunities and compensation as their male counterparts.
I also want my students to see the value in using the internet to enhance learning and connect with others. By doing an online blog, they are able to reflect upon the learning process every step of the way. I think about my own journey through this course and I can go back and see all of the new ideas I learned. Being able to reflect is one of the most important aspects to a continuum of the learning experience.
If you facilitated this experience, how did the learners respond to it? What feedback did you collect to inform future experiences?
I did not facilitate this experience but I hope to in the future.