Backwards design has really made me rethink what is important in my teaching and question why I teach what I teach. Using the big ideas has kept me focused and helped me find a common language to use with my students. It’s also brought our grade level together as we revamped our curriculum and used essential questions as a forefront in our planning and design. Backwards design is built upon connections and making learning meaningful for the student. I love that I teach with “connections” and can build upon student’s prior knowledge.
Questions I still have…
1. I still get confused separating the knowledge from the skills from the enduring understanding. At times, I feel I’m being very repetitive and can’t separate them as much as I’d like to.
2. How can I make higher-level thinking questions a priority and major part of my BD units? I feel that our math curriculum lacks in differentiation and I struggle knowing how much needs to be teacher directed (as the curriculum states) and how much I can change and let students lead (as best practices states). How can our math curriculum be research based when it doesn’t seem to follow the theories and ideas of BD and best practices we’ve been studying?