“Backward Design”

Creating an effective structure of curriculum and instruction is vital for an educator. It is a teacher’s job to provide information and be able to assess a student’s learning ability. A successful way in which this can be done is known as “backward design.” The teacher starts at the end with this technique and goes into the beginning of a lesson or unit with the idea of what they want the student to achieve, knowledge wise, when assessed. To do this, it involves purposeful planning with a concentrated focus on the desired outcome. There must be proper “coaching” and always keep in mind the possibility for adjustments and improvement. Teaching is a process!

When a teacher asks themselves the question “what will the students be able to do by the end of the unit or lesson” and mold the teaching based on this answer, it encourages proper planning and success. Teaching is progressive though and plans must build on each other. By reaffirming what was supposed to be learned the day before and building off of that idea the day of, one can create a sequence of progress. This, in-turn, can create a mental puzzle for the students that you as the teacher assist them in placing the pieces. To make sure what was desired for the day is reached, short assessments or activities could be beneficial if utilized properly. By properly, the learning must be manageable to prepare and cover in a day or in the unit. To make sure that the students are reaching the goals, the learning must also be measurable. Also, by establishing what is the most important aspect or concept of the lesson is to the class is important. Post it in the classroom! You have wall space so do not be afraid to use it!

Diligence is key. Teaching is serious and takes time. You must keep yourself accountable and make sure that the class atmosphere is success-oriented. This can be done by posing the proper questions in class. There are many different kinds of questions that one can ask their students but starting where students are comfortable and them moving toward more complex engagement is crucial. These questions can involve: creating, evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding, and remembering. Allowing the students to actively absorb the text is necessary. It helps them to think about things, not just know facts. As teachers, we teach students to analyze and judge situations on their own. This is where true education is found.