Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding, Stage 5: Students as World Changers, Testing and Assessments

Supercharge Your Classroom in 5 Steps

This blog first appeared on Corwin Connect. Education researcher John Hattie’s ground-breaking research about the factors that influence student achievement gives us much to think about in terms of our habits and practices. It helps us to prioritize initiatives, counteract negative influences, and get rid of practices – such as retaining students – that show little evidence… Continue reading Supercharge Your Classroom in 5 Steps

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

3 Steps to a Successful Concept-Based Unit

You've read all the books (or at least a few blog posts) on concept-based curriculum. You've reoriented your lessons to serve conceptual goals. You've sketched out the most important facts, topics, concepts, and theories for each unit. You have refined your generalizations over and over again to capture the exact understanding you're aiming for. But something… Continue reading 3 Steps to a Successful Concept-Based Unit

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

TBT: Transform your classroom in 8 words or less!

Once you have a beautifully written statement of conceptual relationships, or even if you don't(!), you can still be a concept-based teacher if you follow this simple advice:  Much like Optimus Prime transforms himself from a semi-truck to an all-powerful robot leader, you can transform your curriculum from a pile of information into powerful insights… Continue reading TBT: Transform your classroom in 8 words or less!

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding, Stage 4: Disciplinary Thinking

Making interdisciplinary projects work — concepts are the key!

Everything I read these days points to the need for an interdisciplinary approach to learning. It's touted to boost engagement and bring coherence to the otherwise jolty school experience most kids endure each day. My favorite rationale for interdisciplinary work is that it's necessary for solving real-world problems. Although we often isolate discipline-specific approaches, skills, and… Continue reading Making interdisciplinary projects work — concepts are the key!

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

From Curriculum Writer to Classroom Teacher

Perhaps the biggest challenge in implementing a concept-based curriculum is making the jump from the person who wrote the curriculum to implementation in the classroom. In my dream world, each teacher would have enough training, apprenticeship and time to write their own well-researched, engaging curriculum from enduring understandings to daily lessons. This is often no… Continue reading From Curriculum Writer to Classroom Teacher

Influential Thinkers, Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

The Legacy of Dr. Lynn Erickson

Few people have contributed as much to the field of education as Dr. H Lynn Erickson, the godmother of concept-based curriculum. I'm in a sentimental mood as this week marks her last certification institute. She has trained, assessed and certified hundreds of educators on her brilliant curriculum model and now it's up to us to… Continue reading The Legacy of Dr. Lynn Erickson

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

Throwback Thursday: How to Honor Einstein, Mandela, and Steve Jobs

Educators today seem to be faced with a choice: Keep teaching centuries-old ways of organizing the world through traditional disciplines such as math, science and music or throw it all out in favor of innovation, creativity and problem-solving skills.  OR It is a false choice. Maybe it's even paralyzing us and therefore not allowing change.… Continue reading Throwback Thursday: How to Honor Einstein, Mandela, and Steve Jobs

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

Throwback Thursday: 3 steps for concept-based performance tasks

Here's an oldie-but-goodie from the Ed2Save archives, published in 2013:  So you want to create a performance task that measures conceptual understanding? Try these three steps. 1.  Determine what conceptual relationship you want to assess. For example:  You want to assess the relationship between power and systems. Maybe the exact generalization you have time mind… Continue reading Throwback Thursday: 3 steps for concept-based performance tasks

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

3 studies all educators must read

The best single piece of research on learning is a book called How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School published by the U.S. National Research Council. It's available for free download on the website. The findings strongly support a concept-based approach to curriculum and instruction. Three principles emerged from hundreds of studies on learning:… Continue reading 3 studies all educators must read

Stage 3: Conceptual Understanding

Throwback Tuesday: The Power of the Conceptual Lens

This is one of our most popular posts from Dr. H. Lynn Erickson, first published on April 23, 2013. Enjoy! Today we are honored to have as guest blogger Lynn Erickson, author, trainer and creator of a systematic method for designing curriculum called Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction. The Power of a Conceptual Lens by  Lynn… Continue reading Throwback Tuesday: The Power of the Conceptual Lens