Toni Haskovec, Jane Miller and Kim Engels are fourth grade teachers with the Hudson Community School District.
The following is a guest post by Toni Haskovec on behalf of her 4th grade team. Listen to their Professionally Driven journey in Understanding by Design. Follow Toni on Twitter @ToniHaskovec.
During the 2017-18 school year, our district began to implement the Professionally Driven Personalized Professional Development model. This is our maiden voyage sharing outside of our district.
Our fourth grade team was interested in developing a social studies unit based on the newly adopted Iowa Core social studies standards. Under the guidance of Kelsey Bowers, Central Rivers AEA consultant, we chose to study Understanding by Design based on the work of Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.
We met several times with Kelsey Bowers during our PPD time. She provided us with examples from other districts and several resources to read and research.
A majority of our time was spent completing the planning guide for UbD for our 4th grade US Regions study. This was the time when we established goals for our unit. We soon realized by using the UbD planning guide that we would not only be incorporating social studies standards, but reading, language, listening and speaking standards as well.
In the end, we devoted six weeks to studying the five regions of the United States. During our culminating project students were given the task to create an iMovie targeting an audience of tourists deciding where to plan their next vacation. Students enjoyed the activity, and we were able to determine whether or not students had acquired the skills and knowledge we set forth to obtain on this voyage.
Overall, our PPD experience gave us an opportunity to study more in depth an area of interest to our grade level team. We would not have been able to focus on Understanding by Design if we had not been given scheduled time during our in-service.
Check out their Reflection phase, captured and edited by Mike Lewis, Instructional Coach at Hudson.