t is very important as a teacher to develop an effective lesson plan. During my undergrad, we were taught to look at the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) and come up with activities to help the students master the skills. At the end of the lesson plan, that is when we start to think about what the students should have learned. Now we are told to look at the ‘end game,’ what is the goal of the student? What is it that they really need to master? How can we achieve this goal? We are now coached to design our lesson plans around what the student should have learned and their goal.
In my graduate course we were asked to look at a new type of planning, the 3 Column Table, based on the work of L.D. Fink (2003). In his plan, not only do I have to think about how instruction and activities, but also think about the long term. I have to think about how this skill/standard is going to help them outside the classroom, and how they can continue their learning. This goes beyond what I have been previously exposed to and it’s not easy. Coming up with my Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) was so difficult, to this moment I still think I need to tweek it. I had to step back constantly and think about what I want my students to achieve in the end.
Using the Fink’s guide I came up with a 3 column table for a 4th grade math unit on the four basic math operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) that will run over a three month period.
Fink, L.D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.