Tool: Standards-based planning
Purpose of this tool: This tool will help you and your colleagues to plan for standards-based
How to use this tool:
You and your colleagues can use this tool to assist each other in developing
standards-based instructional units. You can adapt it for use in
developing lessons and longer-term curriculum as well. Follow the
steps for planning together. Use the guiding questions and Standards-based
planning worksheet to help you organize this work. After using this
tool to plan for instruction, you can use the Analyzing
student work tools to assess and revise the plans.
Standards-based instruction requires
significant changes in how teachers plan for and assess their instruction
and their students’ learning. High-quality learning standards
shift the emphasis away from students reproducing procedures and recalling
discrete facts to students understanding underlying concepts through engaging
in project-based tasks. Standards-based instruction:
Preparing for collaborative
Before meeting together, you and
your colleagues should determine who will bring his or her plans to the
group. All participants should obtain copies of the relevant Michigan
Curriculum Content Standards and local learning standards. The
presenting teacher(s) should: 1) make and bring copies of a draft of the
template; 2) collect and bring relevant materials, such as assignments,
rubrics, lesson plans, curricular materials, etc. that you plan to use
in the unit; 3) collect and bring any relevant departmental or school
curricular guides, common exams, etc. and 4) be prepared to describe the
unit s/he wants to plan.
First, the presenting teacher distributes
drafts of the Unit
Plan template and describes the instructional unit s/he wants to plan,
the teacher’s rationale for the unit and where the unit fits into
the larger curriculum. S/he can also distribute copies of any
materials s/he feels are particularly relevant.
Second, using the standards documents
and the materials distributed by the presenting teacher, the group generates
ideas for the instructional unit using the Unit Plan template. Use the
following questions as a guide for generating and assessing ideas for
- What content strand or grade level
content expectation(s) does the unit address?
- What are the key concepts, content
and processes that students will learn through the unit?
- What kinds of difficulties do
you anticipate students will have in learning these concepts, processes
and content? How will you address these in the unit?
- What final, or culminating, assessment
will you use to assess student learning?
- What are the major lessons in
the unit that will enable students to develop their understanding of
the key concepts, content and processes?
- How can you sequence these lessons
so that students build on and integrate the knowledge and skills they
develop from one lesson to the next?
- How will the unit move students
towards independent learning?
- In what ways will you assess students’
progress during the unit?
- How will the unit engage students
with special needs?
- How will the unit engage English
- What do you see that might result
in some students disengaging from learning over the course of the unit?
How will you address this?
Get the Standards-based planning worksheet.
for Essential Schools
Institute for School Reform