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Understanding by design lesson

One lesson that I included as an artifact was my understanding by design lesson. I wanted
to include this as an artifact because this is a topic that I feel very strongly about. Becoming a
teacher for me was about improving the way students were taught mathematics. I was always the
student in math class that was bored by what we were doing because it was lecture and I was a
student who understood the material easily and wanted more. I wanted to become the teacher
who enhanced the learning process and got away from lecture and did more activity/project
based classroom activities. I feel that students learn best when they are working together and can
experience the mathematics. The PBL theory plays right into my educational pedagogy. By
designing a lesson or unit that focuses on projects and hands on material students learn better and
are more engaged. Ive seen firsthand that students care more about how they perform and want
to come to class every day and learn. I have noticed that even the students who hate mathematics
because it has been so difficult for them are enjoying coming to class when we do these types of
lessons. The lesson plan was not difficult to create because this specific topic applies itself to this
theory very well. Some units may be more difficult but with time and careful planning, I feel that
it can be done. Project based learning is a great way to engage students and I hope to continue
creating lessons/units that revolve around this theory.

Understanding by Design
Stage 1 Identify Desired Results
Established Common Core State Standards:

Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two
different proportional relationships represented in different ways. For example, compare a distancetime graph to a distance-time equation to determine which of two moving objects has greater speed.

Use similar triangles to explain why the slope m is the same between any two distinct points on a nonvertical line in the coordinate plane; derive the equation y = mx for a line through the origin and the
equation y = mx + b for a line intercepting the vertical axis at b.

What essential questions will be considered?

What understandings are desired?

(M.8.EE.5-6) How can the solution of two

variable equations be demonstrated and
applied in real life situations?

(M.8.EE.5-6) Students will understand that

there is a connection between proportional
relationships, lines, and linear equations.

(M.8.EE.5-6) How do I demonstrate the

connection between proportional
relationships, lines, and linear equations?

(M.8.EE.5-6) Students will understand

linear equations with one and two variables.

What key knowledge and skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?
1 (M.8.EE.5) graphing proportional
(M.8.EE.8) solutions to simultaneous
linear equations in two variables
correspond to points of intersection of
2 (M.8.EE.5) interpreting the unit rate as the
their graphs.
slope of the graph.

(M.8.EE.8) points of intersection on a

graph satisfy both equations

(M.8.EE.5) comparing two different

proportional relationships represented in
different ways (graph vs. equation).

(M.8.EE.8) real-world and mathematical

problems lead to linear equations.

(M.8.EE.6) derive equation y = mx for line

through origin and y = mx + b for a line
intercepting the vertical axis at b.

(M.8.EE.6) using similar triangles to explain

why slope m is the same between any two
distinct points on a non-vertical line in the
coordinate plane.

Stage 2 Determine Acceptable Evidence

What evidence will show that students understand?
Performance Tasks: (student products & performances with clear criteria used to evaluate)
Students will be able to determine the slope of different sets of stairs in the real world.
Students will take a quiz with different stairs around the building and they will need to find the slope of
Students will create online 3d models of stairs that have the same slope of famous real world stairs.
Online models will be graded based on accuracy.
What other evidence needs to be collected in light of Stage 1 Desired Results?
Other Evidence: The slope quiz will be collected as evidence.
Stage 3 Plan Learning Experience
Sequence of teaching and learning experiences (engage, develop and demonstrate the desired understandings)
W Slope is all around us. Slope is everywhere. Appropriate slope is needed. Students need to understand this
H Show students how important slope is in constructing buildings.
E Students will be given the appropriate knowledge on how to calculate slope, and then given free rain to
explore the concept in the real world.
R Students will be given adequate time to revisit important ideas.
O Students will be given a lot of opportunity to organize their own thoughts.
Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2006). Understanding by Design (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.