Monday, November 12, 2012

EDSS 511: Unit Plan Blog

I would like to share my thoughts on creating a Pickleball Unit for a 6th grade Physical Education class...


Implementing a Pickleball unit allows the students to cover multiple standards within one content area. I incorporated various informal and formal assessments throughout the unit monitor student learning towards the learning objectives. I have used multiple differentiation strategies that not only meet the needs of specific students, but also that meet the needs of the general students in my class. I have incorporated demonstrations that benefit my students in need of differentiation specifically based on the learning profiles and readiness levels. The demonstrations provide a visual depiction of what is expected, which will reduce confusion. I have incorporated the strategy of working with partners to allow all of the students practice social skills while learning content through collaboration. I have differentiated the Newsletter assessment for the ELs by creating an individual rubric that outlines their expectations for the assignment.
I believe the one strength that stands out in this unit plan is my continual use of assessment. I have created informal and formal assessments that progress monitor and summatively show students’ understanding of the learning goals. Students are exposed to multiple assessments that allow for more corrective feedback to enhance the students’ skill performance and learning of the content. One limitation of this unit plan would definitely be that it is short in length. Students do not get a lot of time to practice and master the skills. If I had it my way I would create an 8-10 week unit where I could create a more in depth task analysis so students could gain more strategies, tactics and techniques of the game.
To measure the effectiveness of the pickleball unit I would analyze the students’ work on their Newsletter to see if they demonstrated knowledge of the learning objectives. If I noticed that students had some common misconceptions I would go back over the material and re-teach it differently to ensure student understanding. If the unit were longer in length I would be able to incorporate more checklist assessments that would allow me to gain evidence on student skill performance. I would use this assessment as a means of progress-monitoring to help students build more competencies in their skills.
Overall the unit planning process was quite tedious and took a lot of planning and thinking. I learned that if you are new to creating unit plans, you should start small and then build upon it as time go on. If you try too many things at once it can be chaotic and students will not get the most out of the activity. As a new teacher I know I will not be the best at teaching everything, so it is important that I find content that I am confident in teaching, and keep expanding my pedagogical content knowledge to that I can teach more in depth topics to my students. At the beginning of the year I did not realize how much time and planning went into teaching a full unit. It made me realize how important it is to be prepared and organized you have to be as a teacher. Unit plans should definitely be done well in advance, and after each lesson the teacher should reflect upon what went well and what did not. This reflective process should be continuous throughout teaching to ensure both student and instructor growth.

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