Bottoms Up!

I have come to the conclusion that I can quite easily find inconsistencies in someone else’s lesson plans. Think of it like lining up the soup can labels in a cupboard (which I don’t do, but can appreciate from afar!)

So when we were given the task this week to analyze a poorly constructed lesson plan, Amy, McKaila and I worked together to do so. And we “nailed” it. We picked apart all kinds of inconsistencies and were able to make solid suggestions for its betterment.

However, we were then asked to revamp it and turn it into a good lesson plan. So much for lining up my soup cans – now I had to actually make the soup!

Naturally, as is done in BbD planning, we started with the Outcomes/Indicators. We worked efficiently together to make it concise and specific. Then we moved onto the I Can Statements, Essential Questions and Assessment stages, matching everything up neatly with the Outcome.

So far, so good.

Then, it happened. When we started tackling the Learning Plan, I had a moment – of clarity, insanity, or quite possibly both. I thought back to when my own kids had worked towards a similar outcome in Grade 4, and had done an in-depth unit on each province/territory sequentially, and then tied them all together at the end of the unit with an opportunity for elaboration; comparing/contrasting various aspects across Canada.

optical-illusions young lady old ladySuddenly, the outcome and assessment no longer made sense to me. I wanted to restructure the lesson for the end of the unit, once the students had spent a week or two really understanding each province/territory. And just like looking at the Young Lady/Old Lady optical illusion, my brain could no longer see our original plan as “the right way” to plan this lesson.

So I asked myself, why does my brain want to organize the information in this manner? More importantly, is this truly going to benefit my students to structure it in this way, or is it just my own bias to this format that is pushing me towards what is comfortable and familiar.

While I don’t have all the answers, what I have concluded is that I like to view the world from all angles. This does not make it easy to select a lesson, activity, or idea when I see value in them all! This sometimes requires patience and understanding from some very kind classmates (Sorry Amy and McKaila!). But what it will always mean is that I see the potential of every student.

To meet their needs in the future, I will use the BbD framework, find the lesson that fits the outcomes, and choose it with enthusiasm knowing that it just has to work for MOST students. Finally, I will identify adaptations as needed, because some students may still be able to see the old lady.

Check out our final lesson plan here.


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