From Standard to Assessment using the Diamonds of Alignment



Alignment to Content & Skills

When writing content and skills there are a few guidelines that should be followed to produce high quality lesson plans. Content and skill statements must be refined and translated into easy to understand curriculum. Strategic use of color-coding, alpha-numeric systems, headings and bold lettering increase engagement and comprehension. In this video Marie emphasizes that content elements should be precise, and skills need to be observable and measurable.

Unpacking Standards Definition

Unpacking standards is an important step in the process of externally aligning curriculum to a set of standards. Standards are written as complex relationships between skills and concepts - our goal is to break them down into precise content statements and precise skill statements to create learning targets or objectives. Here Marie discusses how to use verbs and nouns as cues for skills, key ideas and proficiencies.

Basic Unit Plan Format Introduction

Unit planning is a way of organizing ideas, and keeping the focus on what we are teaching students and why we're teaching it. At the same time, we are looking at standards - the minimum of what we expect students to do, and assessment - evidence that the child can do what is expected. 

Diamonds of Alignment

When working with unit plans, we use a tool called the Diamonds of Alignment. It shows the relationship between Standards and the "Why" (Essential Questions and Big Ideas) and the Assessment of Standards. These 4 parts make up the first diamond. The second diamond, again addresses the Standards and Assessment, but here we connect them to the Content and Skills, or the "What".  Excellent internal alignment includes assessment or evidence of both diamonds.