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Running head: UNPACKING STANDARDS 1

Unpacking Standards Professional Development

Christopher N. Marro, M.Ed.

Post University
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Unpacking Standards Training Package

Topic

The topic for this learning module will be unpacking standards. Specifically, the

standards to be unpacked will be Colorado State Standards. Given that lesson planning in

Colorado is nearly always aligned to these state standards, the training will cover unpacking

them as a primary focus and then use technology to introduce the different facets of unpacking

standards to facilitate creating appropriate lesson plans.

Audience

The intended audience for this training is the teachers at Sierra High School. By the

numbers, they are predominantly White and female. The Colorado Department of Education

(CDE) reports that 97.50% of them are Highly Qualified, which means that they possess either a

Bachelors Degree in Education or have a Bachelors Degree in another field but have also

passed a Praxis examination in their content. In terms of experience, 50.23% are novice, which

means the teacher has less than three years in the classroom. Highly Qualified is a required

rating by the CDE for receiving a teachers license, so a 97.5% rating is not surprising.

(Colorado Department of Education, 2014) What needs to be considered however, is that nearly

half of the teachers in this group have less than three years experience.

When looking at skill levels, the CDE reports that 61.76% are rated as Effective, with

32.35% rated Partially Effective. 36.67% are rated as Accomplished in terms of knowledge of

their content and 30% are rated as Accomplished in terms of facilitating learning. (Colorado

Department of Education, 2014) The reason for including the last two ratings are that they are

particularly important to the subject of teaching lesson planning. The more teachers understand
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about their content, the better they will be able to break down standards and develop concrete

lesson plans. The better teachers are at facilitating learning, the better they will be able to

analyze their learners and align their learning experiences and demonstrations of learning to the

objectives and learning targets of the lesson. Most of the teachers in this group are effective

teachers, but only a third of them have a solid grasp of their content and facilitating learning.

This must be considered when planning this training.

Rationale

This topic has been selected because many teachers are having difficulty in their lesson

planning and part of the problem lies in that teachers are winging it instead of deliberately

using standards to develop essential questions and performance tasks which then lend themselves

to learning objectives and aligned assessment. Students are receiving standardized testing on

these standards and if teachers are not developing instruction in direct support of those standards

then students are being assessed on something they have not been taught.

Sub-Topics

The first subtopic involves simply locating the standard within the Colorado Department

of Education website and within a Harrison School District 2 curriculum map. The second

involves locating the nouns and verbs within a standard. The third subtopic takes the nouns and

converts them into understandings and essential questions. The last subtopic will be utilizing

student input to test to see if the understandings and essential questions are translating in the

students minds in such a way as to support the standards.


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Module 1

Sub-Topic #1

The topic for this module will be locating the standards within the Colorado Department

of Education website as well as the Harrison School District #2 website. Once located, it is

important for learners to examine the two documents side by side in order to see how the

Harrison School District #2 curriculum map is derived from the Colorado State Standards. To

facilitate this, I have chosen the use of a mind map in order to structure the similarities and

differences as well as any impressions learners have of the process of deriving curriculum from

standards within Colorado and specifically Harrison School District #2. By separating those

thoughts into nodes, learners can draw connections from the two documents in order to illustrate

the process of deriving one from the other.

Objectives

Teachers will be able to locate standards on the Colorado Department of Education

website resulting in a standard being identified.

Teachers will be able to locate standards on a Harrison School District 2 curriculum map

resulting in a standard being identified.

Teachers will be able to explain the effects the Colorado State Standards have on the

appearance of the Harrison School District 2 curriculum map resulting in a process being

described.
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Instructions

Today we are going to explore the relationship between the Colorado State Standards and

the Harrison School District #2 Curriculum Map. Create an account on Mind42

(https://mind42.com). This will require a username, email address, and a password. Once

complete, navigate to your email and activate the account. Begin a new mind map. Then

navigate to the CDE website. (https://www.cde.state.co.us/standardsandinstruction). Click on

the link entitled, All Current Colorado Academic Standards. Keep this document open and

then open your curriculum map from your Canvas access. Examine both documents. You will

notice some similarities and differences. Of greatest importance are locating the standards

themselves and also noticing how the curriculum map is built from the standards. Build your

mind map from the standpoint of locating similarities and then use what you see in those

similarities to build connections to how the curriculum map might have been constructed from

the standards document.

Exemplar

In the image below, we see an exemplar of what the completed project should look like:
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Module 2

Sub-Topic #2

In this sub-topic, learners are picking out the nouns and verbs and analyzing how they

contribute to the standard. Verbs typically represent actions or behaviors that the standard is

looking for the learner to accomplish. Nouns typically represent ideas or knowledge that the

learner should be able to articulate. Identifying nouns and verbs within a standard is the first step

towards analyzing the words and relating them to what the standard is really asking for.

Supporting this sub-topic with technology was both easy and hard. Choosing live-data resources

for this topic was very difficult, and so I chose to have learners go to the Common Core

Standards website which has a number of standards to practice this skill with. Learners can go

through the standards and select either their own content standards or they can experiment with

other content standards that might be unfamiliar to them. Another advantage to using this

technology is that the Colorado State Standards and the Harrison School District 2 standards are

derived from the Common Core Standards, and so when my learners (who teach in Colorado and

HSD2), begin practicing these skills on their own standards, the migration will be simpler.

Pow-Toon is the animation tool that I have chosen and the reason for this is the free

nature of the software and the fact that my learners can use the technology with their own

students and fellow teachers. The animation is often situational or can be displayed as such

within Pow-Toon, and I want the learners to be able to demonstrate the action represented by the

verbs and the knowledge represented by the nouns in a visual manner. In essence, I am choosing

technology that is not only useful within this activity, but can be carried forth into future lessons

or even lessons that my learners (teachers) will be implementing in the future. Thus, the

resources are not just used and dropped at the end of the lesson.
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Objectives

Teachers will be able to identify the nouns within a Common Core standard resulting in

at least two nouns being identified.

Teachers will be able to identify the verbs within a Common Core standard resulting in at

least one verb being identified.

Teachers will be able to represent the action of verbs and the knowledge of nouns within

a Common Core standard resulting in a visual representation being constructed.

Exemplar

In the image below, we see an exemplar of what the completed project should look like:
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Instructions

Welcome to Sub-Topic #2! Today we are going to take a single standard and identify all of the nouns and verbs

within the standard. Why would we do this? Because nouns are often the specific pieces of knowledge within a

standard that we want our students to know. They become the check on learnings that we create later and are often

found represented on knowledge assessments. Verbs are the actions or behaviors that we want to see our students

achieve. We develop labs, activities, and performance assessments that help demonstrate the verbs that we want to

see from our students. Locating both is an important skill towards breaking down standards from some esoteric

statement into manageable goals.

1) On your computer, go to http://www.corestandards.org/read-the-

standards/. On this website, navigate to a standard that is either related to your

own content or something you want to experiment with.

2) Locate the verbs and nouns within the standard.

3) On your computer, go to

PowToon (https://www.powtoon.com/index/). Register (FREE) and

begin creating an animation. The animation should give an excellent

visual of three things.

The Common Core Standard as it is written from the website.

The verbs are highlighted in red and the nouns are highlighted in blue.

The animation should demonstrate the action and knowledge (from the verbs and nouns) in a creative and

fun way!
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Module 3

Sub-Topic #3

In this sub-topic, learners are taking the nouns that theyve analyzed and constructing

understandings and essential questions. As mentioned in previous topics, nouns typically

represent ideas or knowledge that the learner should be able to articulate. By building essential

questions, learners are able to effectively craft reasons why their own learners should understand

the lesson. It answers the question, Whats in it for me? that students often ask.

Understandings are a student friendly statement that articulates the entire point of the lesson.

They answer the question, So what?

In the activity for this topic, students are using the virtual world Second Life (Linden

Lab, 2017) in order to demonstrate that all learning can be framed within essential questions and

understandings. This also represents an interesting way of expanding and applying the

knowledge they have learned so far in order to be able to take any set of nouns, ideally from a

state standard, but not necessarily, and craft an understanding and essential question. The

significance of using this technology is that I initially thought that virtual immersion would be

ineffective in teaching what is essentially more of an English lesson, but I really wanted to go

outside my comfort zone and do it anyway. I think many of my learners will have similar

feelings and I think it would be good for them to see this as a broadening assignment.
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Objectives

Teachers will be able to identify the nouns within a set of instructions resulting in a list of

nouns.

Teachers will be able to construct an essential question from a set of instructions resulting

in a well-developed essential question.

Teachers will be able to construct an understanding from a set of instructions resulting in

a well-developed understanding.

Exemplar

In the image below, we see an exemplar of what the completed project should look like:
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Instructions

Welcome to Sub-Topic #3! Today we are going to take the nouns within a set of instructions and construct

essential questions and understandings. Weve learned how to use Colorado State Standards to accomplish this, but

lets look at how to do this backwards. Lets take a set of instructions and derive the source of those instructions.

Why we are even learning the skill in the first place. To do this, we are going to look at a free application called

Second Life (Linden Lab, 2017). Complete the instructions below and submit a PowerPoint slide that lists the

nouns, the essential question, and the understanding

that the instructions seek to teach.

On your computer, go to

http://www.secondlife.com. On this website,

register (FREE) and log into the virtual world. Select a destination within the category, New Friendly. Within

this world, you will find lots of objects with instructions on how to navigate within Second Life. Select an object

with instructions and do the following.

4) Locate the nouns within the instructions.

5) Write an essential question and

understanding using those nouns.

6) Create a PowerPoint slide containing a

screenshot of your location within Second Life.

7) On this slide, create three boxes. On one box, write all the nouns. On the next box, write the Essential

Question. On the last box, write the Understanding.

8) Submit the slide when complete.


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Module 4

Sub-Topic #4

In this sub-topic, learners are using their students to verify that they have properly

aligned their essential question and understanding to the standards. Given that it is almost a

truism that students within high school classrooms nearly all have mobile devices, this project

will be a quick and easy way to gather a small database that can be used to demonstrate with

qualitative evidence that students are on the right track. The project involves using a mobile

application designed using AppInventor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017). The

application takes questions from students and then stores them temporarily on a database. The

students or teacher have the ability to answer the questions. Teachers will have students

complete assignments or the app can be used as a preliminary survey before the beginning of a

unit of study. At the end of the day, teachers can then view the collected questions/answers and

use them to verify that students are asking questions that align to the essential question and/or

understanding and ultimately to the standards.

Objectives

Teachers will be able to gather qualitative evidence that their essential question and

understanding are aligned to the state standard resulting in at least three pieces of

evidence in support.

Teachers will be able to utilize a mobile application to generate a database of student

responses resulting in at least three student responses entered into the database.
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Teachers will be able to match student input to essential questions or demonstrate

inconsistencies with the student input / essential question relationship resulting in at least

three matches or inconsistencies identified.

Instructions

Welcome to Sub-Topic #4! Today we are going to gather evidence that our essential questions and

understandings are in fact aligned to standards and translating appropriately in our students minds. To do this, we

will use an application generated through AppInventor to gather a large amount of data in a short amount of time.

Students will submit questions and answers to

a shared database and you will analyze that

database when students are complete. Based

on a qualitative assessment of the data, you

will determine if your essential question and

understanding are aligned or not. When complete, please submit a reflection statement indicating whether your

essential question and understanding were aligned and what evidence you have to support an alignment or

inconsistency.

Display the QR code on this page on a projector and have your students

use their mobile devices to download the mobile app. Ensure that you do

so as well. Once complete introduce your essential question and

understanding and then invite students to post questions. Continue to

deliver your lesson, allowing students to post questions as they go. Give

students time at the end of the lesson to answer questions within the

database as well. Once complete, compare the questions and answers to

your essential question, understanding, and the standards they were based

on. Write your reflection paper and submit it.


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Application

In the image below, we see an example of what the application looks like with some

sample questions. Depending on the standards, essential question, and understanding, these

questions may indicate alignment or inconsistency.


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References

Colorado Department of Education. (2014). SchoolView Data Center. Retrieved September 11,

2017, from http://www.cde.state.co.us/schoolview

Common Core State Standards Initiative. (2017). Read the standards. Retrieved November 18,

2017, from http://www.corestandards.org/read-the-standards/

Linden Lab. (2017). Second Life. Retrieved December 03, 2017, from

http://www.secondlife.com

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2017, December 06). MIT App Inventor. Retrieved

December 17, 2017, from http://appinventor.mit.edu/explore/

PowToon Limited. (2017). So everyone can animate. Retrieved November 18,

2017, from https://www.powtoon.com/index/