When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. This is one of many lessons we will be sharing on teaching Judaic content, lesson planning, models of teaching, differentiated and individualized instruction and learning activities designed to transform the classroom into a Jewish community of cooperative learners. The title of this lesson is “What are the five steps involved in backward design lesson planning?” Since there are 13 elements in each lesson plan we will divide this lesson plan into five parts. Here are the first and second parts of this five-part lesson on the five steps involved in Backward Design lesson planning. The third part of this lesson follows.
The teacher then says: “The first step of the ‘Backward Design’ lesson planning is to decide what Judaic content or knowledge is enduring. Now on the handout I distributed to you notice the second column, ‘Description of Each Step’, Record these words in the space provided in the second column: Decide what Judaic content or knowledge is enduring. As we have discussed in a previous lesson, enduring Judaic knowledge is the content that you want your students to learn during a particular period of instructional time (i.e. a lesson, unit, semester, or the entire year). An example of enduring Jewish knowledge is the Torah and the Talmud contain a body of wisdom that guide a person regarding how to lead a righteous and meaningful life. Therefore, record that sentence in the third column, ‘Sample Content Application’. See the example below:
4. Check for understanding, and extend and strengthen thinking skills. The teacher says: “In the fourth or last column of the handout, I want you to think together with your learning partner or partners and then record what you believe is an example of Judaic content or knowledge that is enduring. Remember this is essential Judaic knowledge that an educated Jewish person should understand. Here is a hint; enduring Judaic knowledge can relate to at least these seven categories or topics:”
· The Tanach (Hebrew Bible)
· Tefilah (Prayer)
· Jewish History
· Ivrit (Hebrew)
· The Hagim (Jewish Holidays)
· Middot (Jewish Virtues)
· Other areas (e.g. Jewish culture, music, art, literature, science, technology, math, social science, etc.)
Provide your students with sufficient time to complete the last column.
Note: As an alternative, you can use nominal brainstorming for sharing this information.
In the next post we will share the fourth part of a five part lesson on Backward Design lesson planning.