2. Instruction – The teacher uses research-based instructional practices to meet the needs of all students.
When designing lessons and units to not only meet state standards and objectives but also to meet the needs of all learners, it is important to evaluate and revise lessons in order to improve them. During the 2016 summer quarter of my graduate program at Seattle Pacific University, I participated in a course on learning how to utilize technology in the classroom. As a course requirement, I was to find ways to integrate technology into an existing second grade math lesson using the ASSURE model. This is an instructional design model developed by Heinich, Molenda, Russell, and Smaldino (1999), utilized to help integrate technology into a lesson or unit plan. The acronym, ASSURE stands for Analyze learners, State standards and objectives, Select strategies and resources, Utilize resources, Require learner participation, and Evaluate and revise. The original lesson and the final lesson and the associated final lesson artifacts are attached in the PDFs below…
First of all, an outline of the ASSURE model process and how it was utilized for this lesson can be viewed on the PDF below…
As you can see in this document, an analyzing process, basically outlining a consensus of the student population and an understanding of the needs of this population was included in Phase II. As this lesson was previously designed with the intent to meet the needs of a diverse student population, not many modifications needed to be made here. Secondly, after analyzing the target audience of the lesson, the learning standards and objectives are addressed. The ASSURE model basically utilizes a backwards design approach to lesson planning, only this model begins with the learners rather than the state standards and objectives.
The remainder of this process such as selecting strategies and resources, utilizing those resources, and requiring learner participation helps guide the lesson designer in revising learning to utilize the available resources in the school/classroom.
After utilizing the ASSURE model to manipulate and tweak an existing lesson, I was better able to take a step back to see what could be better integrated into this learning environment. I found that the original lesson did not utilize a lot of technology or classroom resources but rather only utilized one cooperative learning activity. By using this model, I discovered that I could further diversify student learning by integrating technology into direct instruction, adding rotating stations where students could practice using new knowledge in a variety of ways, and allowing time for group and independent practice. The original lesson while effective was far less flexible for a diverse group of learners.
If I were to make modifications to this lesson, I might break it into two lessons with the same learning target. This lesson as it stands is ambitious for some classrooms and there may not be enough time available to complete all of this in one day. This of course depends on the classroom and how math time is managed. In my ideal classroom, lesson time should not be rushed and therefore math should not be offered every day in order to provide the same length of time for other subject areas. Furthermore, not every classroom will have access to the same resources therefore workstations may need to be flexible. For example, not all teachers have access to iPads. Lastly, there is a lot of prep needed for a lesson of this caliber therefore students need to understand rules and expectations for rotations and use of electronic equipment. This lesson would therefore be most successful in a classroom that is prepped for these activities and this type of lesson would consistently repeat throughout the year. For example, students would learn how to rotate to different work stations, use iPads, use computers, use the interactive whiteboard, etc. at the beginning of the year and would follow suit as the year progresses. Student voice forms would also be consistently used throughout the year and so on.
The ASSURE model was useful in this exercise and I may utilize again down the road. The process of reflection and adjustments to meet the needs of the classroom is important and very useful.