Curriculum Design Team (CDT). September 21, 2009

We will review the CDT’s purposes, our responsibilities, and what we’re signing on for.

250’s team got smaller, so 250 and 237 are combining. 185 got larger. 217 stayed the same.


Lainie is looking for people to help make recruitment presentations.

What we are looking to do this year in the CDT
• We need to see the building of curriculum. Science, social studies, and literacy units to be created. The curriculum process needs to be self-sustaining .

• We must have innovative, themed curriculum. If we do Science, SS, and ELA and we have units for each of these, we’ll have 15 hours/week.

• CDT role – help teachers implement units developed, create units, review units. We need to help teachers create units in a way that makes sense. To have people come and think about what I’m supposed to be teaching.

• UbD helps us have teachers teaching from the big ideas, essential questions, meeting the standards.

• Expectation. All of us will facilitate PD in either February, April, July, or August – each one of us will do at least one of these.

• CDT meetings will help us plan our professional development. Will help us make the lesson plans to facilitate this PD.

• By next year, we’ll be able to facilitate this ourselves.

• Break this up into 35 minute blocs that can be done during a period at school.

• Examples
• We will develop workshops on how to do an essential question both for a 30 minute bloc and a 3 day institute.

• Professional Development Techniques. Powerpoints are deadly. Sometimes another way to lecture. How to use powerpoints engagingly. Other techniques – gallery walks, index cards, webquest (KP’s addition).

Needs Assessment of Where We Are on UbD – We all filled the assessment/survey that Lainie developed. Peer Review Process
• We will then review a unit and take a rubric and look at the unit using the rubric – it’s not really a rubric, but a set of 15 questions that we can apply to a unit..
• How do we find language to peer review and explain what is positive and what needs support.

Evaluating the Standards
We’ll be looking at school’s magnet standards to see where we stand with these standards.
Try applying standards to the unit we assess.

Future Institutes. What our time looks like for February, April, etc.
Next Steps. What we need to do before the next meeting – Review our unit using the 15 questions.

Each UbD unit is based upon
We sorted 2”x4” CARDS with following components:
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
City and State Standards
Culminating Assessment
Overarching Essential Q
Did they get it? – Assessments. What Evidence
How will you get them there
Vocabulary, Skills, Facts, Micro-Understandings

Magnet Standards
Scaffolding Essentials

Big Ideas
Summative Assessment

Magnet School Standards

FACILITATOR– Type up your agenda on a different colored paper, so you can easily find it while you’re running a PD.

The sorting activity: You can writing up this exercise as a business card. Group of Cards – divide into stage, 1, 2, and 3.

Stage 1: Stage one is “The WHAT” – what do you want kids to know, what do you want the audience to know. Content, Skills, Vocabulary, Big Idea, Discipline-based Idea.
Content: Be picky, be choosy.
Essential Question – umbrellas whole thing.
During institutes, Lainie never gives internet access while teachers are working on developing stage 1, because teachers google activities kids can do, instead of thinking of BIs, EQs, etc.
Teachers must minimize – what is essential – what do we want kids to know?

Stage 2: How do you know they got it? If you want them to know Big Idea, how do you know they got the big idea?

Stage 2: Tests, Quizzes, Projects.
• Tests and Quizzes will test micro-content, vocabulary, map skills
• Tests and Quizzes are developed in format of state exam, at least once/mini-unit.
• Projects and the Culminating Project (GRASP) will test our Big Ideas, Essential Questions. Create a project that will give students a chance to show that they understand the Big Idea, Essential Questions, Enduring Understandings.

Stage 2 – Projects, Tests, Quizzes
Always prepare kids for the standardized test, but we also want to prepare them for life. They have to do well on these tests. We need to prepare them. If we weave in test prep in an authentic way, embedded in your curriculum, every few weeks we’re giving a test that looks like the state assessment.
If we constantly give them the format, they’ll be used to it.

Stage 3. How are we going to get them there? Lessons, Activities.
If I want them to know this vocabulary, content, skills, EQs, where am I going to teach it. How am I going to do it in a fun way? How am I going to scaffold the content, skills, vocabulary?
Be careful about which activities you use. Content, skills, vocabulary, BIs, EUs, EQs are going to drive your lessons.

Stage 1 is the most important stage. You have to put the time into Stage 1. Looking at the list of what the state wants you to know and make decisions. Big Ideas, Small Ideas, everything else will fall into place.

Essential Question for the Unit – School Theme – Culminating Project. Lainie wants us to formulate One Overarching EQ and tie it to our theme. The EQ is connected to your school theme, but the project has to have kids tackle the Essential Question.
The project has to give them an opportunity to answer the Essential Question.
The project should address our magnet standards.

Stage 2. Activities vs Project. Activities are Stage 3. Projects are stage 2. Projects include research, are multi-faceted, speak to Big Ideas. Project should hit 3 of the 6 facets of understanding, ergo projects should differentiate to 3 different modes of learning. Offer different project possibilities, choice, so students can express skills and knowledge in different ways.

Additionally, see if the the Unit includes a variety of texts? This goes through all the stages.

Review of a Social Studies Unit – A New Nation

UbD is not for a theme. It is a way to use themes. But themes are not synonymous with UbD.

STAGE 1. If Stage 1 isn’t thoughtful about what you’re going to teach, then you don’t know if assessments and lessons are aligned. It is the building blocks of unit.

The GRASP, the culminating project must address the Big Idea and the Essential Question.

Project – Make it manageable

We are not tied to using the city’s Essential Questions for the units in Social Studies and Science. The city created one overarching essential question, but teachers should create their own.

Mini-Unit Title should be part of the Topical Content-Based Questions.
How did the Constitution help create structure for our society.
Merge the mini-unit title and the essential question.
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Daily Lessons, Activities, Day to Day
Essential Questions
Content-based Questions

Sample map:

Unit – New Nation

Unit Title


Big Content


Term Paper
Assessments– Edited
Term Paper

If doing a video in one unit, do another kind of assessment in another unit. Powerpoint, a speech, a term paper.

Curriculum Mapping – How do I make things happen in a way that makes sense.If making thoughtful curriculum to meet students’ needs, must spiral and scaffold.
Need to do research and practice speaking before you do the powerpoint and video.

Curriculum Map looks at entire year and makes you break down skills and assessments, so they make sense for entire year.

UbD. Each column is a different unit.

Curriculum Mapping - How does each unit build upon the one before it.

School Standards

Guiding Questions for Departmental Meetings
1. What is the city’s Essential Question?
2. Is the EQ aligned to the content, city, state and magnet standards?
3. Does the project speak to the big idea of the unit?
4. Does the project require the students to respond to the essential question?
5. Are the project and skills overlapping or are they differentiated?
6. Can you improve ideas for a project?

This is not a unit, this is not a GRASP, this is a way to integrate the magnet standards into the units that exist. You don’t have to do thse specific projects, these are just examples.

We want the departments to have conversations. We want the content specialists to have input.

Future Institutes
Meeting 1x/month or 2x/month until February, and then every other month.
October 19th: Next session – Looking at Stage 1 and different ways to facilitate teaching Stage 1 of UbD.

First departmental meetings.
Review the magnet standards. Show the sample plan. Here’s an example of how your curriculum can connect to your standards. Ask for input, ask for suggestions for projects.

Per Session
Per Session is pensionable.
Lainie will pay for us to facilitate institutes.
Principal has to pay for people who attend from school. At 217, we’ll do institutes during school.

Assignment: Use rubric against our Unit. Look at the peer review process questions and update the unit accordingly. Once it is updated, e-mail it to Lainie by October 9th.

AUSSIE person. Lainie is trying to find right person. Lainie will not be at April Institute.