The following list provides titles for workshops offered by Jay McTighe. Workshops can be customized to address particular outcomes, specific audiences and varied contexts.

Contact Jay to discuss options. Click on each workshop title for a description.

Understanding by Design®: Designing Understanding-Based Curriculum Units

Time Frame: 2-3days

How can you design learning experiences that make it much more likely that students will understand content and be able to apply it in meaningful ways?  Since 1998, thousands of educators around the world have used the Understanding by Design® (UbD) Framework to answer that question and create more rigorous and engaging curricula. In this design workshop, participants will explore the key ideas of UbD and apply practical and proven design tools and templates for unit design.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • apply a 3-stage “backward design” model and the new UbD 2.0 Template for curriculum development;
  • identify long-term Transfer Goals from which to plan backward;
  • learn processes for “unpacking” Standards to establish curriculum priorities and determine content worthy of deep understanding;
  • use Essential Questions to frame curriculum to focus on “big ideas”;
  • examine a continuum of assessment methods to use in assessing the degree of student understanding;
  • explore six “facets” of understanding and their implication for curriculum, assessment, and teaching;
  • apply selected design tools to create authentic performances tasks based on the six “facets”
  • apply the A.M.T. framework to design engaging and effective instruction;
  • access an excellent collection of on-line UbD resources to support unit design;
  • participate in a structured review process for giving and receiving feedback based on UbD Design Standards

Target Audience:

This workshop is designed for educators at all levels interested in enhancing their design of curriculum, assessment, and instruction to develop and deepen student understanding.

Learning Activities:

The workshop will feature a balance of presentations, small group activities and discussions, design time in role-alike groups, review of web-based resources, and a sharing/feedback protocol.

Note: Since this workshop involves curriculum design, participants should bring materials (e.g., Standards, textbooks, resource materials, assessments, scoring rubrics, etc.) to support their curriculum design work.

Designing a Coherent District/School Level Curriculum based on the Understanding by Design Framework

Time Frame: 1-2 days*

Noted educational researcher, Dr. Robert Marzano, concluded that “a guaranteed and viable curriculum” is the most significant school (and district) level factor impacting student achievement. Understanding by Design provides a practical and proven framework for designing such a curriculum based on targeted state/national Standards and 21st Century Skills.

Standards are not curriculum. Educators must use Standards as a basis for designing high-quality curricula and assessments to support impactful teaching for effective learning. In this design workshop, participants will use the acclaimed Understanding by Design® framework for developing curriculum units based on targeted state/national Standards or provincial Outcomes.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • Create a curriculum “blueprint” to guide the design of a coherent and vertically aligned curriculum;
  • Identify long-term transfer goals for academic disciplines;
  • Generate overarching essential questions that spiral across the grades;
  • Create recurring cornerstone assessment tasks and companion rubrics that provide evidence of students’ understanding and transfer ability;
  • Map the curriculum around desired performances rather than simply a scope and sequence of content “coverage;”
  • Upgrade current grading and reporting systems; and
  • Utilize web-based resources for “working smarter” in district curriculum design.

Product Outcomes 

Participants will have opportunities to work with colleagues to apply the ideas in this workshop to design one or more of the following:

  • a curriculum unit
  • a year-long curriculum map
  • performance-based assessments aligned to Standards

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for district leaders, curriculum specialists, and school-based administrators. School and district teams are encouraged to attend.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of lecture presentation, small group activities and discussions, design time in role-alike groups, review of web-based resources, and a sharing/feedback protocol.

 *Note on Time Frame:  While an introductory workshop can be offered in 1-2 days, the development of a comprehensive pre-K to 12, understanding-based curriculum and assessment system is long-term work involving a multi-year time frame.

Creating an Understanding-Based Curriculum and Assessment System for 21st Century Learning

Time Frame: 1 – 2 days*

Established Standards provide a clear set of worthy educational outcomes. However, the Standards are not curriculum. Educators must use the standards as a basis for designing high-quality curricula and assessments to support impactful teaching for effective learning. In addition to academic standards, a growing number of voices within and outside the educational establishment are calling for an enhanced emphasis on the “21st century skills” of critical and creative thinking, collaboration and wise use of technology.

In this workshop, we’ll examine the ideas in Jay McTighe’s recent book, Leading Modern Learning: A Blueprint for Vision Driven Schools (Solution Tree), for transforming the Standards and 21st century skills into a coherent curriculum that emphasizes understanding and long-term transfer. Key principles and practical tools from Understanding by Design (ASCD) and Schooling by Design (ASCD) will be offered to guide curriculum design and implementation.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • Create a curriculum “blueprint” to guide the design of a coherent and vertically aligned curriculum;
  • Identify long-term transfer goals for academic disciplines and 21st century skills;
  • Generate overarching essential questions that spiral across the grades;
  • Create recurring cornerstone assessment tasks and companion rubrics that integrate 21st Century Skills with academic content;
  • Map the curriculum around desired performances rather than simply a scope and sequence of content “coverage;”
  • Upgrade current grading and reporting systems; and
  • Utilize web-based resources for “working smarter” in district curriculum design.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for district leaders, curriculum specialists, and school-based administrators. School and district teams are encouraged to attend.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of lecture presentation, small group activities and discussions, design time in role-alike groups, review of web-based resources, and a strategic planning “backward design” process.

*Note on Time Frame: While an introductory workshop can be offered in 1-2 days, the development of a comprehensive pre-K to 12, understanding-based curriculum and assessment system is long-term work involving a multi-year time frame.

Sewing the Seeds: Getting Ready to Engage with Understanding by Design

Time Frame: 1/2 – 1 day

Since the 1980’s, it has been clear that the nature of work in the 21st Century is, and will continue to be, different than it’s ever been before. At the same time, knowledge is increasing exponentially and neuroscience research is unlocking the keys to how we learn.  Therefore, transmission of information and rote memorization can no longer be a priority of education. Understanding the “why” behind new curriculum and instructional initiatives is essential if educators are to embrace these initiatives.  This interactive workshop will guide educators to explore the forces that motivate a shift to designing and teaching for understanding and transfer, the cornerstones of the Understanding by Design® Framework.

Learning Outcomes    Participants will explore:

  • major changes in the 21st Century motivating shifts in education;
  • instructional approaches that have emerged in response to these shifts; and
  • their own beliefs about learning, learners and teaching.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for teachers, teacher leaders, curriculum designers, and school-based administrators.

Instructional Methods: The workshop will feature an interactive blend of presentation, small-group activities and discussions, videos, and jig-saw readings.

Curriculum Initiatives: Where to begin?

Time Frame: (3 hours, offered as an on-site or remote session)

Since 1998, thousands of educators around the world have used the Understanding by Design® (UbD) Framework to create vertically aligned curricula as well as discipline-specific units.  This workshop guides school leaders to identify their long-term goals and vision for a sustainable a successful transition to UbD.

Learning Outcomes  Participants will:

  • begin to identify their long-term goals and time frame;
  • explore the assets and challenges to a curriculum initiative; and
  • identify their resources (e.g., professional development time; financial)

Target Audience: School-based leaders and district leaders who are beginning to shape their plans to bring Understanding by Design® to their school or district.

Instructional Methods: This workshop combines a short presentation with a conversation organized around planning key questions.

Essential Questions – Opening Doors to Student Understanding

Time Frame: 3 hours – 1 day

If the content represents the “answers,” then what were the questions that led to that content knowledge in the first place?  What makes a question “essential”?  How do we “uncover” the key ideas within a Standard or a topic, not just skim (cover) the surface?  How do we “unpack” Standards using questions?  How do we use essential questions to “map” a coherent, spiral curriculum throughout a year and across the grades? How can a classroom culture best support student engagement and inquiry?

A good essential question serves as a doorway for engaging student inquiry, helps teachers in “uncover” the big ideas of the curriculum, and leads students to deeper understanding. In this session, we will examine key ideas from the best-selling ASCD book, Essential Questions: Opening Doorways to Student Understanding (McTighe and Wiggins, 2013).

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • recognize the characteristics of truly essential questions;
  • distinguish between overarching and topical essential questions and their uses;
  • use essential questions to “unpack” Standards and map a coherent curriculum;
  • use practical and proven design tools for developing essential questions;
  • use essential questions as an integral part of teaching for understanding;
  • create a classroom culture of inquiry;
  • analyze classroom video examples of EQs in use;

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for educators at all levels interested in using Essential Questions for  engaging students in inquiry and developing and deepening student understanding.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of presentations, small group activities and discussions, review of video examples of EQs in use; design time in role-alike groups, review of web-based resources, and a sharing/feedback protocol.

Note: The full-day version of this workshop will include time for participants to work in role-alike groups to design Essential Questions around selected curriculum topics. Accordingly, they should bring materials (e.g., Standards, textbooks, resource materials, etc.) to support their design work.

Designing Authentic Tasks and Projects for 21st Century Learning

Time Frame: 1-2 days

The skills for 21st Century Learning must be developed “by design.” Authentic performance tasks and projects serve as a vehicle for teaching and assessing these skills in conjunction with academic content. This workshop will examine the characteristics of authentic performance tasks and projects, present a set of practical and proven design tools, and showcase a variety of associated examples and resources.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • identify 21st Century skills and the characteristics of authentic performance tasks and projects;
  • apply a variety of design tools for creating authentic tasks and projects;
  • identify four types of performance criteria and their purpose in assessing authentic performance tasks and projects;
  • apply elements of 21st Century rubrics to assess student performance on authentic tasks and projects;
  • “map” sets of authentic tasks across the K-12 curriculum;
  • plan the kind of instruction needed to prepare students for authentic tasks and projects;
  • identify print resources to support the design and use of authentic tasks and projects;

Target Audience: This workshop has been designed for teachers, administrators, and curriculum leaders interested in the development and use of authentic performance tasks/projects and associated scoring tools.

Learning Activities: The session will feature a balance of presentation, active analysis of performance tasks and design tools, and small-group activities and discussion.

Designing Authentic Performance-based Assessment Tasks and Rubrics

Time Frame: 1-2 days

Concern over the limitations of traditional testing methods has led to recommendations for the development of assessments, which engage students in more “authentic” tasks, assess student understanding and capacity to apply knowledge, integrate 21st Century skills, and reflect effective instructional models. In this workshop, we will consider the underlying principles of effective classroom assessment and review examples of performance-based assessment tasks. Participants will be actively engaged in discussing key questions related to performance assessment and making plans for applications in their classrooms and the district.

We will learn a process for developing performance-based assessment tasks and related scoring tools for assessing students on identified learning outcomes. Working in “job-alike” groups, participants will design a performance-based assessment task using a set of practical and proven design tools and templates.

A variety of task development ideas and resources will be available, including excellent web-based resources. Participants will engage in a peer review process for giving and receiving feedback on the draft performance-based assessment tasks and rubrics. We will examine procedures for “anchoring” performance-based assessment tasks, and consider the instructional implications of teaching toward these authentic tasks.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • identify the characteristics, advantages, and limitations of performance-based assessment tasks;
  • understand the key features of authentic performance-based assessment tasks;
  • apply a set of practical and proven tools for designing authentic tasks that integrate 21st Century skills with academic content;
  • develop criterion-based rubrics for reliably judging student performance;
  • review draft tasks and rubrics against a set of criteria and offer feedback to colleagues;
  • “anchor” performance-based assessment tasks and rubrics with student work samples;
  • examine instructional implications of performance-based assessment tasks, ; i.e.,g., how to teach toward authentic performance;
  • access web-based resources to support design and use of performance-based assessment tasks.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for teachers, administrators, and curriculum and assessment specialists interested in the development and use of performance assessments and associated scoring tools. School and district teams are encouraged to attend.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of presentations, small group activities and discussions, design time in role-alike groups, review of web-based resources, and a sharing/feedback protocol.

Note: Since this workshop involves assessment design, participants should bring materials (e.g., Standards, textbooks, resource materials, assessments, scoring rubrics, etc.) to support their design work.

Designing and Using Rubrics to Evaluate and Improve Student Performance

Time Frame: 1 day

Rubrics provide criterion-based tools for evaluating student performance. Additionally, rubrics can be used to provide learning targets and improve student performance, as well as evaluate it.

Learning Outcomes  Participants will learn:

  • the characteristics of three different types of scoring tools – performance lists, holistic and analytic rubrics – and the advantages and limitations of each;
  • practical and proven processes for designing a sound scoring rubric;
  • procedures for using rubrics to achieve fair, valid, and reliable evaluation of student learning and performance;
  • criteria for reviewing and improving draft rubrics;
  • procedures for “anchoring” rubrics with student work samples;
  • ways of using rubrics as tools for teaching and learning as well as evaluation; and
  • an excellent set of web-based rubric resources.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for teachers, administrators, and assessment specialists interested in the development and use of rubrics. Grade-level and department teams are encouraged to attend.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of presentation, small group activities and discussions, design time in role-alike groups, review of web-based resources, and a sharing/feedback protocol.

Note: Since this workshop involves rubric design, participants should bring resource materials (e.g., Standards, assessments, scoring rubrics, etc.) to support their design work.

Teaching For Understanding and Transfer

Time Frame: 1 day

How does teaching for deep understanding differ from “coverage-oriented” instruction? What instructional approaches are most effective for developing and deepening student understanding of important ideas and processes and how do they fit into the UbD framework? How might classroom assessments engage and enhance learning, not simply measure it? What observable indicators are evident in classrooms in which teaching for understanding and the authentic application of knowledge are emphasized?

In this workshop, we will explore these questions using the Understanding by Design® (UbD) framework.

Learning Outcomes    Participants will explore:

  • research-based instructional practices designed to promote learning for understanding and transfer (e.g., Project-based Learning; Design Thinking);
  • the A.M.T framework to design engaging and effective instruction aligned with goals;
  • ideas for differentiating learning plans to support a variety of learners;
  • the W.H.E.R.E.T.O. framework for refining lessons and learning activities;
  • formative assessment techniques;
  • observable indicators (classroom “look fors”) of teaching for understanding and transfer;
  • web-based resources to support teaching for understanding

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for teachers and administrators interested in teaching for understanding and transfer.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of presentation, small group activities and discussions, viewing video examples of instrictional practices, and review of web-based resources.

Understanding by Design and Curriculum Mapping 3.0

Time Frame: 1-2 days

Understanding by Design® offers a practical and proven framework for curriculum design. The UbD framework can be used to plan units of study using its 3-stage, “backward design” process. However, the elements of UbD can also be applied to mapping the curriculum across a school year and across the grades.

In this workshop, we will explore a practical framework for transforming standards and 21st Century skills into a “guaranteed and viable” vertically-aligned curriculum that emphasizes understanding and long-term transfer.

Learning Outcomes    Participants will learn approaches to:

  • Create a curriculum “blueprint” to guide the mapping and design of a coherent and vertically aligned curriculum;
  • Identify long-term Transfer Goals and aligned indicators that provide the critical “end points” from which curriculum should be planned;
  • “Unpack” standards, themes or topics to identify conceptually big ideas and essential questions;
  • Generate overarching understandings and essential questions that spiral across the grades and provide intellectual throughlines within the curriculum;
  • Create recurring cornerstone assessment tasks and companion rubrics that integrate 21st Century skills with academic content;
  • Develop macro curriculum maps to organize the curriculum around desired performances rather than simply as a scope and sequence of content to be “covered;”
  • Access a variety of excellent, web-based resources for “working smarter” in curriculum design.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for teachers, school-based administrators, and school and district curriculum leaders interested in creating a more coehernt and vertically-aligned curriculum across the grades.

Instructional Methods: The workshop will feature an interactive blend of presentation, small-group discussions, guided exercises, jig-saw readings of short articles, and design time.

Product Outcomes

Participants will have opportunities to work with colleagues to apply and share the ideas in this workshop to develop one or more of the following:

  • a UbD-based curriculum map for a school year
  • a UbD-based curriculum map for division levels (elementary, middle, high school)
  • a K-12 curriculum map for disciplines (e.g., science, E/LA)
  • a map for 21st Century Skills (e.g., critical thinking, creativity, collaboration)

Note*:  Since this workshop involves curriculum design, participants should bring materials (e.g., Standards, textbooks, resource materials, assessments, scoring rubrics, etc.) to support their design work.

Are You Really Ready for Project Based Learning?

Time Frame: 3 hours – 1 day

Project-based Learning (PBL) seems an ideally suited methodology for developing the 21st Century skills of Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication. Moreover, authentic projects based on student-driven inquiries can engage students relevant learning activities. However, as promising as PBL seems, not all schools and districts are ready to implement it with fidelity. Indeed, challenges of content “coverage,” scheduling (e.g., 50-minute, subject-based organizations), standardized test pressures, grading and reporting systems, and teachers lack of comfort facilitating student-led projects can conspire to undermine the promises of PBL.  This workshop will engage participants in implementing a “backward design” process for developing successful PBL – by design.

Target Audience:This workshop is designed for teachers, school-based administrators, and school and district curriculum leaders interested in expanding use of Project-based Learning in their schools or programs.

Instructional Methods: The workshop will feature an interactive blend of presentation, guided exercises, and small-group discussions.

The Neuroscience of Learning using Understanding by Design

Jay McTighe & Judy Willis
Time Frame:
2 days

The confluence of research on learning from cognitive psychology and neuroscience has yielded new insights into how the brain learns and the educational practices that can promote the simultaneous activation and enrichment of the neural networks of executive function.  Understanding by Design® (UbD) presents the framework for curriculum, assessment and instructional practices that reflects the relevant neuroscience research.

This workshop will explore the following questions:

  • What does current brain research tell us about the most effective approaches for learning?
  • How can we construct a more coherent and relevant curriculum from the learners’ perspective?
  • How should we teach and assess for understanding and transfer?
  • How does stress impact learning?
  • What motivates learners to try their best? What factors negatively affect student motivation and effort?

Using Classroom Assessments to Enhance Learning

Time Frame: 1 day

How might assessment promote learning as well as measure it? How do we raise student achievement on high-stakes assessments without “practicing for the test?” How can thinking like an assessor focus curriculum planning and instruction? What kinds of assessments will motivate learners to do their best? What types of feedback are the most effective for students and teachers? This session will explore these questions while examining seven practical and proven classroom assessments practices to improve learning, as well as measure it.

Learning Outcomes    Participants will learn approaches to:

 

  • Select the type of assessment to use based upon the purpose of the assessment
  • Use summative assessments to motivate students and focus their learning;
  • Use diagnostic pre-assessments to inform teaching and differentiation;
  • Use ongoing formative (on-going) assessments for and feedback to inform adjustments in learning goals and instruction for by both learners and teachers;
  • Analyze student learning results in PLC teams to guide needed improvements;
  • Engage learners in self-assessment, reflection and goal setting

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for teachers, school-based administrators, and school and district curriculum leaders interested in assessment practices that promote learning.

Instructional Methods: The workshop will feature an interactive blend of presentation, guided exercises, a jig-saw reading, viewing videos of classroom assessement practices and small-group discussions.

Connecting Content and Kids: Differentiated Instruction and Understanding By Design

Time Frame: 1-4 days

Today’s educators are faced with the pressures of addressing a full plate of content standards while also meeting state and federal accountability requirements. At the same time, students in today’s classrooms typically represent a broad range of academic readiness, interests, and learning profiles, and teachers are expected to encourage struggling learners, challenge advanced learners, and make sure that classes are relevant and engaging for everyone.

This workshop will focus on the interrelated needs to address content standards in rich and authentic ways while remaining responsive to the variability among the of learners whom we teach. More specifically, we will examine the mutually supportive connections between Understanding by Design® and Differentiation through the following questions:

  • Can differentiation and standards really co-exist?
  • How can we address required content standards yet remain responsive to the differences and varied needs of our students?
  • How does the “backward design” approach to curriculum planning inform differentiation (and vice-versa)?
  • How will we know that students really understand important ideas and processes we teach?
  • How might we differentiate student assessments and still obtain valid measures of learning?
  • Can we maintain standards without standardization?
  • How might a grading and reporting system communicate standards-based achievement honestly and fairly?

Learning Outcomes    Participants will learn how to:

  • apply “backward design” to plan for differentiation;
  • repsonsibly differentiate performance asssesments and still obtain needed evidence;
  • address differences in learners’ readiness levels, interests, and learning profiles;
  • use pre-assessments and on-going (formative) classroom assessment strategies to inform needed differentiation;
  • apply criteria for analyzing the quality of curriculum and quality of differentiation;
  • to apply the 3 P’s of standards-based grading and reporting;

Product Outcomes: Participants will have opportunities to work with colleagues to develop a differentiated curriculum unit using the UbD framework or add ideas for differentiation to an existing UbD unit.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for teachers, school-based administrators, and school and district curriculum leaders interested in the links between differentiation and UbD.

Instructional Methods: The workshop will feature an interactive blend of presentation, viewing videos of classroom assessement practices, small-group discussions, design time in role-alike groups, and a sharing/feedback session.

*Note:

For educators not familiar with the Understanding by Design framework, this workshop is offered over 4 days. For educators experienced with Understanding by Design, this can be offered for 1 or 2 days.

Schooling by Design (SbD)

Time Frame: 1-2 days

Based on the books, Schooling by Design (2007) and Leading Modern Learning (2015), this interactive session will explore the following essential questions:

  • How do we think about all elements of schooling as part of an aligned system?
  • What is the mission of schooling and how should a school’s mission guide its work?
  • How should principles of learning influence educational practice?
  • How might we construct a coherent curriculum and assessment system for honoring that honors our mission?
  • What are observable indicators of a standards/competency-based classrooms? Schools? Districts?
  • How might we guide teachers in teaching “beyond the test” to focus on the “big ideas” and processes contained in themes, topics and/or local or national content standards?
  • In what ways can “backward design” enhance school improvement planning?
  • How can we make assessment a “photo album, not a snapshot?” Not sure this one fits here as written.
  • How can we appropriately “depersonalize” educational practices?
  • What performance data (beyond state/standardized test scores) can guide our school/district-improvement/accreditation efforts? (trying to add independent school-friendly language)
  • How might we make the most of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)?
  • How should we “walk the talk” and apply standards to our own work in curriculum, assessment, and instruction?
  • In what ways can all elements of the system align to sustain current and new initiatives?

In addition, we’ll examine a variety of practical and proven processes, tools and examples to assist administrators and teacher leaders in leading and sustaining 21st Century education initiatives at the school or district level.

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for district leaders, school-based administrators, and teacher leaders.

Instructional Methods: The workshop will feature an interactive blend of presentation, small-group discussions, guided exercises, jig-saw readings of short articles, and design time in teams.

Product Outcomes: Leaders will have the opportunity to work on a school or district action/improvement plan reflecting SbD principles and strategies.

Understanding by Design for Colleges and Universities

Time Frame: 3 hours – 1 day

Universities and Colleges have recognized the need to reexamine their approaches to syllabus design, assessment and instruction to be more consistent with the shifting landscape of careers, knowledge, and globalization in the 21st century, as well as our deepening understanding of cognition and learning.  This workshop will explore the big ideas of the Understanding by Design® Framework and a three-stage model for developing University and College course syllabi.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will:

  • explore the research and 21st Century shifts that undergird the implementation of the UbD Framework;
  • explore the concepts of understanding and transfer as they apply to learning and course design;
  • apply a 3-stage “backward design” model and the UbD 2.0 Template for syllabi development;
  • identify long-term transfer goals from which to plan backward;
  • learn processes to determine content worthy of deep understanding;
  • use Essential Questions to frame curriculum to focus on “big ideas”;
  • examine authentic performance-tasks for instruction and to assess student understanding;
  • access an excellent collection of on-line UbD resources to support unit design;

Target Audience: All university faculty and staff

Instructional Methods: The workshop will feature an interactive blend of presentation, small-group activities and discussions, and short videos.

Product Outcomes: In a full day session, participants will have an opportunity to draft understandings and essential questions. Participants should bring a course syllabus that they would like to use as the basis for their design work.

Reviewing and Revising UbD Units

(Time depends on the format and the number of participants; onsite or remote)

Peer and professional review and feedback about UbD units are effective ways for educators to refine and/or improve their designs. This session can be offered in one of two formats:

Workshop Format

Educators will engage in a peer review of their UbD units. Working in groups of three, participants will use UbD unit review criteria and a peer-review protocol to review each other’s UbD units and provide formative feedback to guide their peers in revising her/his unit, as needed. The workshop facilitator will provide specific feedback, as well.

Personalized Feedback

The UbD consultant will meet with individual educators or pairs of educators to provide feedback about their units based upon the UbD review criteria. Participants will submit their units two weeks prior to the session for initial review.

For this format, consultants will schedule one hour per unit for the initial review.

Target Audience: Educators who have completed a UbD unit.

Product Outcomes: Participants will have substantive feedback with which to revise their units, as needed.

Using the Understanding by Design® Framework for English Learners

Time Frame: 2-3 days

Do all students in your school, including those who are still developing English proficiency, have access to rigorous and engaging disciplinary curriculum? For decades, students labeled as English learners (ELs) have often found themselves in low-level coursework prioritizing rote language skills and/or simplified content curriculum. With the shift to the New Standards, including the Common Core, Next Generation Science, and C3 Social Studies, many educators recognize the need to provide ELs equitable access to content curricula while they are learning English. The Understanding by Design (UbD) Framework® provides educators a means to promote students’ disciplinary learning while simultaneously supporting their langauge development. In this design workshop, participants will explore the key tenets of UbD with specific focus on ELs, including how to (a) scaffold disciplinary curricula based on students’ cultural and linguistic background knowledge and abilities and (b) support language development during rigorous and meanignful content instruction.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • Apply the principles of culturally and linguistically responsive practice to UbD
  • Examine data to understand ELs’ backgrounds, abilities, strengths, and needs
  • Analyze the academic language demands inherent in disciplinary instruction
  • Write language objectives that target ELs’ language development
  • Design performance tasks that tap into students’ background knowledge and provide multiple access points based on language proficiency
  • Plan language-rich learning trajectories that integrate the four domains of language
  • Integrate culturally relevant texts and home language materials to support learning
  • Differentiate instruction to support the unique needs of individual students

Target Audience: This workshop is designed for educators at all levels interested in enhancing their design of curriculum, assessment, and instruction that develops and deepens ELs’ understanding and language development.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of whole-group demonstration and modeling, small-group discussion and exploration, and individual reflection and application to curricular design.

Note: Since this workshop involves curriculum design, participants should bring materials (e.g., standards, textbooks, resource materials, assessments) to support curriculum design work. Since we embrace a linguistically responsive approach to design, participants should bring available data on ELs (e.g., home languages, language proficiency levels).

Understanding by Design® in Bilingual Settings

Time Frame: 2-3 days

How do you design rigorous and engaging instruction in two languages as a means to support students’ bilingualism and biliteracy simultaneous to learning math, science, and social studies? The Understanding by Design (UbD) Framework® can be used across educational contexts regardless of the language of instruction, which includes bilingual settings including dual-langauge, heritage-langauge, and two-way immersion, as well as transitional, developmental, and maintenance bilingual programs. In this design workshop, participants will explore UbD as a curricular design framework embedded in bilingual education. Educators will consider how backward design tenets can be applied to design programs, curricula, and instruction to promote students’ bilingualism and biliteracy.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • Define the vision of bilingual education in the classroom, school, or district
  • Set goals for students’ language development holistically across programs
  • Refine programs to longitudinally support students’ bilingual development
  • Design curriculum and instruction in target languages (e.g., Spanish, Polish), including learning goals, assessments, and instructional plans
  • Scaffold instructional units of study to support students’ language development
  • Integrate opportunities to bridge languages to support language developmental goals, including metalinguistic awareness and biliteracy development

Audience:This workshop is designed for educators at all levels interested in enhancing their design of curriculum, assessment, and instruction that develops bilingualism and biliteracy.

Learning Activities: The workshop will feature a balance of whole-group demonstration and modeling, small-group discussion and exploration, and individual reflection and application to curricular design.

Note: Since this workshop involves curriculum design, participants should bring materials (e.g., standards, textbooks, resource materials, assessments) to support curriculum design work. Since we embrace a linguistically responsive approach to design, participants should bring available data on bilingual students (e.g., home languages, language proficiency levels).

Designing Performance Tasks to Assess and Promote Language Development

Time Frame: 2-3 days

Just as performance tasks provide a means to evaluate and foster learning in authentic contexts, they can also be used to gather data and promote language development. Because of the authenticity of performance tasks, students use language in rich and meaningful ways, providing teachers with essential data to discern students’ language abilities, strengths, needs, and development over time. Whether oral, written, or displayed, well-designed performance tasks can prompt students to integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing as connected to discplinary understandings and concepts. In this design workshop, participants will design performance tasks that assess and promote language development simultaneous to disciplinary understandings and learning. Working from state language standards (e.g., WIDA, ELPA21, CA ELD) and/or teacher-designed units of study, participants will design language-rich tasks with rubrics that capture language development and scaffolds to promote engagement and access.

Learning Outcomes   Participants will learn to:

  • Manuever language development/proficiency standards
  • Analyze performance tasks with a lens on language development
  • Design language-rich performance tasks based on content standards and goals
  • Differentiate performance tasks based on students’ language proficiency levels
  • Develop performance task rubrics that capture students’ language development
  • Use protocols (e.g., data collection/analysis, review/feedback) to improve task design

Audience: This workshop is designed for educators at all levels interested in enhancing their design of assessment that promotes ELs’ learning and language development.

Learning Activities:The workshop will feature a balance of whole-group demonstration and modeling, small-group discussion and exploration, and individual reflection and application to curricular design.

Note: Since this workshop involves curriculum design, participants should bring materials (e.g., standards, assessments, scoring rubrics) to support curriculum design work. Since we embrace a linguistically responsive approach to curricular design, participants should bring available data on ELs (e.g., home languages, language proficiency levels).