Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nutrition in Middle School part 2

What I appreciate, in UbD, is the essential question so that we are not just "covering" material but really facilitating the students ability to think deeply and develop enduring understandings about life/the world.
In my program, I am charged with teaching the students to acquire proficiency in the English language in Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.  I am fortunate to have the (WIDA) standards for grades K; 1-2; 3-5 ; 6-8 in each of those domains with 5 proficiency levels (entering, beginning, developing, expanding, and bridging) for each.

Like many of you, initially I felt that UbD was daunting!   My first thought was that I would need to develop essential questions for everything that I did with each of my groups.  Then, I realized that I can jump in and start with a unit of study for one or two groups (not all of my seven grade levels at once).  Whew!  That enabled me to take the initial steps.

As their teacher for several years, I can scaffold topics and extend deeper understandings over the course of more than one year.
I perused  my standards for 6-8.  These are the only grade levels that I teach that have standards for S, L, R, and W in five academic areas (the language of: Social Studies, Science, Math, Language Arts, and Social and Instructional).  Examples from Math are: data interpretation, estimation.  An example from Science is: body systems and organs.  I wanted to have the students develop a deep understanding of the importance of a healthy diet, incorporating math and science.

Part 2
The students will understand essential concepts about nutrition and diet.  The question remains: "what is healthful eating?"
The students then were assigned texts from the library to become experts in each of the four food groups. They brought back their notes from their reading and the others took notes on their reports.(They had to determine importance, take notes, present to their peers.)

After reading and discussing, they were ready to write a non fiction book for Kindergarten.  They synthesized their learning, created all the parts of a non-fiction book (title, sections, tables of contents, content, and an index).  They gathered pictures of food to illustrate their concepts. They made a mock-up of their future book. Edits and revisions were made by their classmates, with some input from me. 

(I soon realized that one of my students lacked keyboarding skills, so instead of laboring over the typing, he put his together without typing it.)

I found out at PDU that anyone can see our posts and repost on Pinterest.  I have removed the pictures of my 6th/7th graders reading to Kindergartners




They created an extensive rubric and then assessed each other's final work.  They were able to identify their strengths and areas of growth as writers as well as this content.
They were able to identify the attributes of healthy eating, walk the talk via the graphs, write about them, and present that information to younger students.

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