The session was led by Janice Moase and Shona Becker (helping teachers in our district) using some of the formats and planning sheets from Shelley Moore. To be honest, Shelley was supposed to be with us but was sick, so we set out on an adventure to see how we would do without her guidance. Janice has experience with the planning guides and Shona is an amazing science and math teacher, so we were in good hands.
Planning a Unit Accessible for ALL
The goal in these sessions is to build a unit that is accessible to ALL. That means choosing your content and curricular competencies goals and then finding the access point by looking at the students in your class - the starting point where EVERY SINGLE STUDENT can succeed.
Everyone begins together.
It is different work - it means looking closely at the curriculum and your kids and then thinking creatively, trying to build an inclusive, interesting, creative, fun, motivating, engaging unit where everyone can participate - all learning the same content and using the same processes (competencies).
The teachers decided to look at inquiry based learning to drive their unit. They created the following overarching question as their BIG idea:
The main content and curriculum competency goals:
And here is the ALL, MOST, FEW triangle where it was decided what ALL can do, more complexity for Most, and then even more complexity for FEW.
First Lesson: the HOOK
We planned all morning, then in the afternoon, Janice and Shona co-taught with the classroom teacher, Kristina. This first lesson was the HOOK for the unit. As a group, the students watched short video clips of hearts and lungs, diseased and healthy, and were asked to think about and comment on what they 'wondered' and what they 'noticed'. Following the video provocations and group discussion, there were six tables of invitations/provocations set up in the classroom. Students spent five minutes at each station with a short report out to their small group at the end of each station.
1. Observing a moose heart and bones. What do you notice?