Unit of Study

 A Template for a Unit of Study

When reality doesn’t match our expectations, we are sometimes disappointed.
When we are disappointed, we may experience stress.
Reduce stress by checking reality before setting expectations.

A.    Goal
1.    often a provincial intended learning outcome
2.    often uses words such as ‘understanding’ or ‘appreciation’

  • e.g. The learner will demonstrate an appreciation for the challenges of life in the Middle Ages.
  • e.g. The learner will demonstrate an understanding of the literary value of the novel.
  • e.g. The learner will demonstrate an understanding of human body systems.

B.    Objectives
1.    knowledge: what the learner will know

  • a.    answers the questions of what, when, where, why, who, how

  • b.    tends to require structured instruction

  • c.    tends to require memorization for mastery

  • e.g. The learner will know the cause of the Black Death.
  • e.g. The learner will know the key characters of the novel.
  • e.g. The learner will know key features of reliable websites.

2.    skill: what the learner will be able to do

  • a.    needs to be taught in small steps for most learners

  • b.    tends to require repeated practice for mastery

  • e.g. The learner will be able to find reliable websites.
  • e.g. The learner will be able to take notes when given the subtopics.
  • e.g. The learner will be able to write a paragraph that provides evidence for an idea.
  • e.g. The learner will be able to find evidence to describe the character traits of a fictional person.

3.    experience: what the learner does

  • a.    can be simply attendance at lessons

  • b.    can be structured: does not appear to participate, participates when called upon, participates voluntarily

4.    attitude: how the learner behaves

  • e.g. The learner will demonstrate interest in the topic of study.
  • e.g. The learner will demonstrate curiosity about the topic of study.

C.    Evaluation Methods
1.    depends on the type of objective

  • a.    knowledge = objective test

  • b.    skill = test, project or demonstration

  • c.    experience = a record of participation in each lesson

  • d.    attitude = observation by teacher or end-of-unit reflection sheet

2.    weighting

  • a.    determine which objectives are essential : 50% of evaluation

  • b.    determine which objectives are desirable : 30% of evaluation

  • c.    determine which objectives are ideal: 20% of evaluation

3.    create the evaluation methods before planning the lessons

  • a.    teach to your test

  • b.    keep yourself on track in your lessons

  • c.    know what is most important and spend the most time on it

  • d.    provide enough structured practice time for skill development

D.    Required Prerequisites

1.    Knowledge:

  •  e.g. times tables
  • e.g. vocabulary
  • e.g. background information

2.    Skills:

  • e.g. ability to do long division
  • e.g. ability to choose  reliable websites
  • e.g. ability to take notes
  • e.g. ability to categorize notes
  • e.g. ability to read at the required level
  • e.g. ability to complete work at home
  • e.g. ability to work in groups
  • e.g. ability to persevere when work is difficult

3.    Experience:

  • e.g. reliably attends school
  • e.g. pays attention during lessons

4.    Attitude:

  • e.g. is interested in learning
  • e.g. believes school work is valuable
  • e.g. trusts the teacher
  • e.g. is willing to revise work

E.    Materials
1.    Textbooks
2.    Additional books

  • a.    Do you own them yourself?

  • b.    Does the school library have enough books on the topic?

  • c.    Do the learners have transportation to a public library?

3.    Online resources

  • a.    Will sufficient time be given during the school day?

  • b.    Do learners have online resources at home?

  • c.    What support is given to students who do not have home support?

4.    Writing materials

  • a.    What will the learner supply?

  • b.    What will the school supply?

  • c.    Who supplies the printer for work that is done on a computer?

5.    People and places

  • a.    If students need to work in pairs, is there home support?

  • b.    Who will adapt materials for students without the prerequisites?

  • c.    Who will help students without the prerequisites?

  • d.    Can you book time in the library or computer lab if needed?

  • e.    How much time in the library or lab will be needed?

F.    Time line
1.    How many weeks are available for this unit?
2.    How many lessons will there be per week?
3.    How long is each lesson?
4.    How much work time will be given during each lesson?
5.    How much home work time will be expected?
6.    How much time can you give to students who need help after class?

G.    Lessons
1.    Sort the objectives into the number of lessons available. Revise your goal and readjust the number of objectives, if necessary.  Provide a sufficient number of lessons for skills that require repeated practice.

2.    Choose methods for teaching each lesson.

  • e.g. Teacher-led lecture
  • e.g. Pair-share guided instruction
  • e.g. Independent work time
  • e.g. Group work stations
  • e.g. Experiment or debate

3.    Ensure that a variety of learning styles are addressed in the unit

  • a.    Partner/group work versus individual work

  • b.    Literal versus inferential

  • c.    Objective versus subjective

  • d.    Structured versus unstructured

4.    Decide how to manage assignments:

  • a.    After each lesson or after time to complete at home

  • b.    On teacher’s desk or in a collection file

  • c.    Marked in class or by the teacher

  • d.    Recorded as practice time or using a code from a rubric

H.    Evaluation Results
1.    How many students met the required objectives?
2.    How many students also met the desired objectives?
3.    How many students met all of the objectives?
4.    In what ways did the reality of teaching not meet your expectations?

  • a.    Was the discrepancy due to lack of prerequisites among the learners?

  • b.    Was the discrepancy due to insufficient or inadequate instruction for the learners?

  • c.    Was the discrepancy due to insufficient practice time for the learners?

I.    Future Lessons
1.    How will the evaluation results affect the next unit of study?
2.    What remediation is required?
3.    What skills should be the focus of the next unit?

 [This page may be copied for personal use or use with students if the following credit is provided: ©2012 Sophie Rosen.]

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