Great Start to Our 2015-16 Coast Metro Series

The 2015 Coast Metro Workshop series with Jay McTighe got off to a great start last week (November 17-18).  We spent two fabulous days with Jay exploring the foundational components of Understanding by Design (UbD) as a framework to better understand and implement our new BC curriculum.

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During the two day seminar, over 185 educators from a dozen different school districts worked collaboratively in cross-district grade/subject groups to begin the work of designing units of study based on the new draft curricula – using the UbD framework as a guide. Participants also had the opportunity to try out the new EduTect UbD Unit Planner – an online tool that embodies the backward design process and enables collegial sharing of curriculum design work.

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On Day 1 participants worked on unpacking the Big Ideas from the curriculum and transforming them into Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions.

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The day culminated with a Gallery Walk of the design work from all the groups.  Everyone had their iPhones out to capture the thoughtful collaborations in photos!  Examples of the group work featuring Enduring Understandings (EUs) and Essential Questions (EQs) for the new BC curriculum are available on the UbD Collaborations page.

On the second day we looked at meaningful assessment, and in particular the idea of a Performance Task that focuses on assessing students’ learning in more meaningful and authentic ways.

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The feedback on the 2015 Coast Metro series has been very positive! Participants in the Coast Metro 2015 series really enjoyed Jay’s relaxed presentation and coaching style.  Many also expressed their appreciation for Jay’s ability to combine his deep knowledge of curriculum theory with a solid understanding of our local context for curriculum transformation in BC.

My favourite quote from the Understanding by Design series is this:

Teachers are designers. An essential act of our profession is the crafting of curriculum and learning experiences to meet specified purposes.”

We are so fortunate to have Jay McTighe as our Coast Metro series facilitator this year as we begin the exciting work of redefining and redesigning our classroom curriculum and enhancing the learning opportunities we provide for our students. The Coast Metro Consortium is looking forward to Jay’s return to BC for the final session in our series on February 15th!

For more information on the Understanding by Design® framework, please visit our UbD Resources page.

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