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Alamance Burlington School teacher ready to use NCCAT Online course in the classroom

We were thrilled to hear these comments from Alamance Burlington School science teacher Jeffrey Gambrell about the NCCAT Online course "The Role of Questioning" designed by NCCAT faculty members Elizabeth Joyce and Amy Jo Spencer. Thank you Jeffrey!

Jeffrey's comments are below.

Jim Burke (author)
What’s the Big Idea? (book)

Chapter 1 of the book has led me to seriously reflect upon what my Science class would look like if I intentionally developed an inquiry based approach to instruction. How could I successfully teach with questions? I now see the importance of the three stages of backward design; identify the desired result,determine acceptable evidence, and plan learning experiences and instruction.

Beginning instruction with the end in mind is necessary in guiding students toward the goal of mastering the content. Clearly identifying for students the desired result at the onset of instruction can assure them of reaching the desired destination. I plan to begin to implement unit plans instead of weekly lesson plans. Unit plans aid in the goal of backward design by helping to define what standards should be accomplished, how to best achieve them, and within what time-frame.

Unit planning will help to reflect upon what evidence will I use to support student learning. How will I know if kids are getting the concepts or not? This will allow for modifications and adjustments to accommodate the different ability levels of students. It may be necessary to include various learning aids in the unit to reach every student.

This is all done ahead of time, and is considered as the unit is developed around essential questions. 

Some research has determined a connection between student achievement and teacher planning.Planning activities, assignments, discussions, debates, and projects around essential questions can lead to higher order thinking for my students. I plan to spend more time developing essential questions for each section of the unit and drive my instruction based on student responses.

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