General Education Colorado College WK1 Professional Learning Community Paper

Please complete all parts

Part 1—– everything that is attached that has week 1 or 1 on it is what you will need for this assignment


Teaching and meeting students’ learning goals are critical in defining a teacher’s job description. When I reflect on what teaching entails, I am convinced that making a change or a positive impact on my students is inevitable. Wiggins (2010) posits that a teacher’s role is not clearly defined when it comes on to performance standards and learning goals. A teacher’s job description does not speak about what should be accomplished in other fields.

Wiggins’ (2010) analogy of a teacher’s responsibility and three core obligations for results-focused responsibilities caused me to do an introspection. This introspection allowed me to see the need to improve my practice in the cause of successful learning. I know I can’t achieve successful learning by myself, therefore, I will work with my school’s principal and instructional coach to achieve this. A goal to improve in this area is teaching to cause positive results in my students’ reading and learning outcomes. These learning outcomes will be measured by state standards. When students achieve these learning outcomes they will be rewarded, as a result, they will see the need for achieving. Weekly assessments will be used as a tool for tracking students’ progress or growth. This progress or growth will be highlighted in the form of incentives and certificates in a tangible way so students can see the improvements they have made. This will encourage them to continue to do well.

Effective curriculum design lays the foundation for effective learning (Laureate Education, n.d.). In order to effectively meet the learning outcome, I know, I will have to design a curriculum that is specific to what I want my students to achieve. One school structure that supports the design of this curriculum is a Professional Learning Community (PLC): a curriculum committee that I am elated to be a part of. In this PLC teachers meet across the grade levels, since it is a small school, to plan how to reach learning goals using state standards. I, in turn, will have to effectively teach students to meet learning outcomes which sometimes can be a tedious task.

As an international teacher, my previous experience allowed me to create assessment plans with a rubric to assess learning outcomes. Have you ever used assessment plans to help track students’ progress and learning outcomes? What other methods have you used to track your students’ progress? How do you use continuous assessment to plan activities for your students to meet learning goals?


Wiggins, G (2010). What’s my job? Defining the role of the classroom teacher. In Marzano, R.J. (Ed). (2010) On excellence in teaching. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.g.). Overview of curriculum design. [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author

Part 2—– everything that is attached that has week 1 or 1 on it is what you will need for this assignment

Summarize your thoughts about learning theories and models of learning as follows, being sure to cite this week’s Learning Resources as well as peer-reviewed outside resources to support your response:

  • Articulate your theory or model of learning and explain how one or more of the learning theories you explored resonates most closely with your teaching and thinking. What other theory or model did you learn about that was of interest to you? How might it inform your work?
  • Describe how your model of learning is operationalized in your classroom. Include your thoughts about how your current curriculum design incorporates various levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • Explain why having a model or theory of learning is an important prerequisite for effective curriculum design.

(Assignment length: 3–4 pages)


Make sure you include other references as needed.

Jacobs, H. H. (Ed.). (2010). Curriculum 21: Essential education for a changing world. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Part 3——- everything that is attached that has week 2 or 2 on it is what you will need for this assignment

As Jacobs emphasizes, curriculum design is choice making, and the choices you make must be informed by your understanding of the diverse students you teach. It is important to remember that while standards may inform your learning goals, these standards were written for All students in that grade level, not specifically for the individual students you teach. By considering the unique learning needs of your students, you can design your curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make standards attainable for All learners in your classroom.

With that in mind, consider how the following learner considerations can help you make the learning goals in standards attainable for the diverse students you teach:

  • What sources of data do you have to help you understand and address student readiness, interest, and learning profile (learning style, learning preferences, culture, gender)?
  • What do you know about your students’ community and the community’s expectations for their children?
  • What role does family involvement play in your curriculum design?
  • What considerations related to social development are relevant for your students?
  • What other data do you think are important to consider as you design curriculum for learning (e.g., student graduation rate, students who speak English as a second language, students with IEPs, etc.)?

By Day 3 of Week 2

  • Describe a challenge you encounter or have encountered in your teaching setting related to one of more of the learner considerations. Seek advice from your colleagues about how to address this challenge.
  • Share a specific example of how you wish to address these considerations in unit and instructional planning for your Course Project. Ask for input from your colleagues related to your Part 1—Interdisciplinary Unit Plan or Part 2—Instructional Plan.

Part 4—— everything that is attached that has week 2 or 2 on it is what you will need for this assignment

While standards are meant to inform what students should know and be able to do, the desired knowledge and skills contained in standards are not always crystal clear. In this assignment you will look at the organization of standards, consider your accountability for them, and prioritize the essential content and skills contained in standard statements to inform the development of your Course Project: Part 1—Interdisciplinary Unit Plan.

Part 1: Standards

In preparation for this assignment you were asked to engage in a Web Exploration in which you reviewed and analyzed standards. You were directed to go to your state’s department of education website or other website to review the standards for the content areas you have selected; read any introductory language to get a sense of the big ideas and essential understandings that the standards are meant to inform; and select two to four standards upon which to develop your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan. Reflect on this activity as follows:

  • How are standards addressed in your classroom, school, and district? How are they formatted (e.g., objectives, goals, topics, concepts, benchmarks, performance indicators)?
  • What are the accountability measures in your school, district, or state for addressing standards?
  • What did you notice as you reviewed the introductory statements that precede the standards?

Part 2: Breaking Apart Standard Statements

This week you considered the “Entry Points for the Design Process” excerpt, examined ways to integrate curriculum, and selected standards that you will address in your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan. In this activity you will “break apart” the standards you have selected for your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan and begin to determine “big ideas” and enduring understandings you will address in your unit. This will inform Stage 1 of your unit plan, “Identify Desired Results.” Follow the process (Phase 1 and Phase 2) for “breaking apart” standard statements presented in the Hale excerpt, “How May Interpreting Standards Influence Our Curriculum Design?”

Phase 1
  • Determine content (nouns).
  • Determine skills (measurable verb, target, descriptor).
Phase 2
  • Identify implicit and explicit learning expectations.
  • Change immeasurable to measurable verbs, low-level to high-level verbs.
  • Make implied content and skill descriptors explicit.
  • Change topic-based to concept-based learning.

By Day 7 of Week 2

Submit the following:

  • Your analysis of the standards you reviewed in Part I, addressing the prompts above in a written response.
  • A summary of the work you completed in Part 2 as follows:
    • List the 2 to 4 standards you will address in your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan and provide a rationale for the interdisciplinary connections upon which you will base your unit.
    • For each standard, share the results of the breaking apart or unwrapping process you conducted in Phases 1 and 2.
    • Explain an insight you gained in breaking apart one or more of the standards you have chosen.
    • Generate ideas for Stage 1: Desired Results of your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan. What “big ideas” and enduring understandings became evident as a result of breaking apart the standards?

(Assignment length: Parts 1 and 2 combined: 3–4 pages)

Web Exploration

Part 5——- everything that is attached that has week 3 or 3 on it is what you will need for this assignment

This week’s Learning Resources explored the Understanding by Design planning framework and considered the implications for instructional planning and teaching. Even though there is an inherent logic to designing with the end in mind and teaching for understanding is an indisputable goal—some teachers may have understandable concerns and reservations about engaging in this type of planning. Take a moment to review the “‘Yes, but…’—Responding to Predictable Concerns” excerpt in this week’s Required Readings.

Select one of the concerns or come up with your own. Then use your learning this week to develop a response that addresses this concern for this week’s Discussion. As your craft your response, bring to mind the evidence of teaching for understanding that you noted in the classroom examples discussed by the teachers in this week’s media segments. Consider examples of your own experience and degree of comfort with the backward design process thus far.

Additionally, think about the assignment last week in which you broke apart the standards that you will address in your unit. This week you will complete Stage 1: Desired Results and Stage 2: Assessment Evidence of your Course Project: Part 1—Interdisciplinary Unit Plan. How prepared and motivated are you to engage in this planning process? What have been the benefits and challenges for you so far? In what areas do you need advice and input? What has been exciting for you to learn and/or what has been enlightening about the “logic of backward design”? (McTighe & Wiggins, 2004, p. 140)

By Day 3 of Week 3

Post your response to your selected concern a teacher might have about using the backward design process. Include information from this week’s Learning Resources, including the classroom examples in the media segments, and your own experience to defend the use of the process. Finally, share any challenges or questions you have about your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan thus far, and seek advice and input from your colleagues.

Part 6——- everything that is attached that has week 3 or 3 on it is what you will need for this assignment

Develop an initial draft of Stages 1 and 2 of your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan that includes the following:

Stage 1: Desired Results (including interdisciplinary connections)
  • Established Goals
  • Understandings
    • Students will understand that…
  • Essential Questions
  • Students will know…(content)
  • Students will be able to do…(skills)
Stage 2: Assessment Evidence
  • Performance Tasks
  • Other Evidence

Part 7—— everything that’s attached that has week 4 or 4

Post a thoughtful, cohesive response to the essential questions posed by McTighe and Brown (2005) and include examples from this week’s Learning Resources to support your response. As further support for your argument, share some of your ideas for learning activities and assessment and instructional practices (including differentiation) that you will include in your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan. Seek advice and input from your colleagues on any areas of concern you may have about your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan.

Part 8——–everything that’s attached that has week 4 or 4

Develop Stage 3: Learning Plan of your Course Project that includes the following:

  • Based on the “Feed Up, Back, Forward” article, describe specific ways that you will use data about student learning before, during, and after instruction to make informed decisions about teaching and learning in your classroom.
  • Include specific ways that you will encourage family and community involvement throughout the learning activities. Identify one of the learning activities you will develop more fully in your Course Project: Part 2-Instructional Plan.
  • Create an engaging scenario of a real-world context/application that helps prepare P–12 students for college and career readiness.

Once you have completed Stage 3: Learning Plan of your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan, make any necessary revisions to Stages 1 and 2 based on feedback and input from your Instructor and/or colleagues as well as information from this week’s Learning Resources. Then, for each stage of your plan, write a brief explanation of your decision-making process.

Submit your completed Course Project: Part 1—Interdisciplinary Unit Plan, (Stages 1, 2, and 3) along with a separate explanation for each stage of your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan. Be sure to identify the learning activity you will develop more fully in the Course Project: Part 2-Instructional Plan. (Assignment length: 3–4 pages)

Part 9—— everything that’s attached that say week 5 and 5

Post a brief description of your Course Project: Part 1—Interdisciplinary Unit Plan for your colleagues who will be reviewing and providing feedback on your plan. Provide a rationale for integrating two or more subject areas around the topic, issue, or theme of your unit and explain your decision-making process for each of the stages of your unit plan. Include information from this week’s and previous weeks’ Learning Resources to support your ideas. Then, attach a copy of your unit plan to your posting.

Part 10—– everything that’s attached that say week 5 or 5

Designing effective units and lessons for your students can be challenging, given the many factors that must be taken into account. For example, standards help clarify what all students should know and be able to do; yet the quantity and complexity of standards can be overwhelming for teachers. Part of this planning challenge may include differentiating instruction and creating goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, relevant, and timely (SMART). Exploring a variety of learning theories and models will assist in meeting the needs of all learners.

For this week’s Assignment, you will submit Components 1, 2, 4, and 5 of your Course Project: Part 2—Instructional Plan


Part 11

Post a brief summary of the points you would highlight to your colleagues to encourage them to make a “21st-Century Pledge” and to impress upon them the importance of using your selected technology as an instructional and learning tool appropriate for All students. Explain how you will use this technology in your classroom or school and reflect on how this experience will help you be a better collaborator with those with whom you work in educational settings.

Then, seek advice and input from your colleagues to help you with any questions or areas of concern you have related to implementing your Instructional Plan and collecting pre-assessment, formative assessment, and summative assessment as data for determining the level of student learning.

Part 12

Last week, you developed Components 1, 2, 4, and 5 of your Course Project: Part 2—Instructional Plan. This week (Week 6) you will implement your Course Project—Part 2: Instructional Plan with a group of P–12 students. If you are not currently teaching or it is summer and you are not in school, you may complete these assignments by working with students in another teacher’s classroom or by working with a group of children you know.

Part 13

Post an argument in favor of curriculum mapping to convince your colleagues of the merits of this process. If your school is already mapping curriculum, share to improve the curriculum mapping at your school and provide encouragement for continuing the process.

Part 14

Post a summary of the results of your assessment data collection from your Course Project—Part 2: Instructional Plan implementation. Be sure to include a reflection on what you learned from your data collection methods, the data you collected, and how you plan to revise your Instructional Plan for future implementation based on your data.

Part 15

Compose a 3- to 4- page Reflective Essay that includes:

  • A reflection of the significant revisions you made to your Interdisciplinary Unit Plan and Instructional Plan and a rationale for why you made them based on feedback from colleagues and based on specific Learning Resources in this course.
  • A reflection on the theories, concepts, and strategies presented in this course. With these thoughts in mind, respond to the following:
    • Reflect on how you collected and assessed the data. What were the issues you encountered? What would you want to do differently to make the implementation a more meaningful experience for your students? Based on the findings from your analysis of the assessment data, what learning experiences does your group of students need next?

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