Saturday, February 25, 2017

Let’s Plan A Unit! (Peter ​Anderson) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Let’s Plan A Unit! (Peter ​Anderson) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Let’s Plan A Unit! (Peter ​Anderson)

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For policymakers, journalists, parents, and pundits a daily lesson is easy to understand. The teacher has a 45- to 90-minute period and covers certain content and skills. There are objectives and activities that unfold before an observer’s eyes. There is a beginning, middle,and end of a lesson that a typical observer–who had once been a child and youth sitting a few feet away from his or her teacher–can parse easily enough.
But not a unit. A unit is a collection of lessons lasting one to four or more weeks that has overall goals and an arsenal of activities. The various lessons connect daily objectives and tasks to unit goals. Few policymakers, school reformers, parents, and journalists have a sense of how much planning occurs before a teacher crosses the threshold of her classroom to introduce a new unit to her charges. Searching for resources, constructing engaging activities, getting feedback from students, assessing what students learn, all of these soak up a large chunk of a teacher’s time before, after school,at nights and during holidays. Here is one teacher’s description of a unit he created for his middle school students.
Peter Anderson teaches 7th grade English Language Arts in Northern Virginia. He is a National Writing Project teacher-Let’s Plan A Unit! (Peter ​Anderson) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

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