For this one hour activity, students select reading material of their choice in order to improve reading skills of the target language (Spanish). Traditionally, in the face-to-face classroom, students choose a book or reading material from the classroom library. Sometimes students may read independently, with a partner, or they have a choice. Students are encouraged to write, on a Post-It note, a sentence about what they read and rate the book/material with 1 to 5 stars. Students keep a personal reading log where they document what books/materials they have read and when, their reactions, what they learned, and a formative self-assessment of their learning and their comprehension of the reading. While this activity is assessed, it is intended for learning and therefore it is not graded.
This activity can be transformed with technology integration so that students can also access reading material online, and share their ratings with others. For this to happen, students need to exercise good digital citizenship skills by recognizing the rights, responsibilities and engaging in a positive, safe, legal and ethical manner consistent with ISTE Standard for students #2.
ISTE standard 2, Digital Citizenship will be explicitly taught at the beginning of the year, in one lesson, modeled, practiced. Then it will be reviewed and integrated into every lesson throughout the year, similar to the way teachers normally teach routines. Informal assessment, scaffolding, and individual feedback are essential in helping students attain digital citizenship skills.
Stage 1 – Desired Results
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
Students keep a personal reading log using a digital tool of their choice (like Excel, Google Docs, other). Their reading logs will include: text information, date read, rating 1-5 stars, reaction, an important or favorite sentence from the book, and something they learned.
Rationale: What makes this assessment authentic, is that students will post their ratings/evaluation of the books on a school website so that families and other students can benefit from the information. It is authentic because they are reading authentic material and because they will have an authentic audience.
Self-Assessments/ Formative Assessments:
- Students plan their learning goals
- Students document their learning
- Students reflect on/evaluate their own learning
- Students make adjustments and create a new plan
Rationale: Self-assessments are also formative assessments as they allow students to identify where they are in comparison to their goals. It is like a mile marker that informs students know how much they have advanced from their starting point, how long it has taken them to get to where they are, and how much farther they need to go. These formative self-evaluations provide students with the opportunity to learn how to make decisions on how to proceed. These self-assessments will not be graded because they are intended as tools for learning.
The teacher will observe, read students’ self-evaluations, and interact with students to provide support, scaffolding, and feedback.
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Most commonly, the Understanding by Design framework would be used in a unit, as opposed to a single day one-hour lesson. In a unit, there will be more opportunities to tell the narrative of how students move from pre-assessment to mastery. I wanted to use this framework to improve a single day unit by incorporating all WHERETO learning experiences and instructional steps in one lesson. This activity helped me refine my daily lesson template and consider how the instructional steps can become part of a routine. There may be components that do not happen every day, such as formal assessments. Also, using the UbD to plan one lesson revealed ways where students would be able to reinforce previously covered concepts, such as digital citizenship. But what would happen if a student just transferred from a different school or was absent when digital citizenship was explicitly taught? Anticipating such scenarios, I would have to create a digital folder containing all documentation of previously taught concepts. Even better, rubrics and handouts to daily activities can include links. In the article Interactive Rubrics as Assessment for Learning from Edutopia, Michelle Lampinen describes and provides examples of interactive rubrics. While digital citizenship and the six facets of understanding are embedded throughout the units, they may not all be realized in a one day lesson, but the links to supporting those skills can be included in every lesson. Students progress in digital citizenship skills and through the six facets of understanding do not move in a homogeneous or linear way. Therefore, it is important to monitor student work and progress, read students’ work and self-evaluations in order to support, create scaffolds, make digital documents available for easy access, and give personalized feedback for each student.
ACTFL American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. (2015) Performance Descriptors for Language Learners. Retrieved from https://www.actfl.org/resources/actfl-performance-descriptors-language-learners
Gonzalez, J. (2014). Understanding by Design, Introduction and Chapters 1-4. [Blog post]. Accessed on March 10th 2021 http://www.cultofpedagogy.com/ubd-chapters-1-4/
Gonzalez, J. (2014) Know your terms: Anticipatory Set. [Blog post]. Accessed on March 10th 2021 https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/anticipatory-set/
ISTE Standards for Students. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students
Lampinen, M. (2013). Interactive Rubrics as Assessment for Learning. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/interactive-rubrics-assessment-for-learning-michelle-lampinen
Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Online Grade Level Standards & Resources World Languages. Retrieved from Ealrs – Ealr/Component List By Grade (ospi.k12.wa.us)
Wiggins, G., & McTighe, Jay. (2005). Understanding by design (Expanded 2nd ed., Gale virtual reference library). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.