Tuesday, January 28, 2014

UBD Units: ELA and Math

I have had a lot of requests for the UBD units that my team created last year.  This post will explain the UBD model and also give you resource links to the units that my team created.

UBD or Understanding By Design is a new way of teaching that's basically a backwards design.  You come up with the assessment first and then create your teaching sequence geared toward the assessment.  (Kinda like teaching to the test.)  The units are designed to teach the most important topics at the beginning of the school year and these topics are usually taught longer due to the complexity.  You basically want to dig really deep into the minds of your students so they REALLY master the skill.  The phrase I have heard that's best used to describe this teaching method is:
"Teach a mile deep and an inch wide"
"Teaching an inch deep and a mile wide"  
In my opinion, the old way of teaching (spiraled) teaches students a mile wide because we are teaching a million different topics (a mile long) every other day (ok, I know...I'm exaggerating!)  But really, how much of this information taught really sinks in??  I believe that the UBD units help students to have more time learning a topic instead of bouncing around all year long.

The new school that I moved to does not use the UBD's but I do miss using them.  It makes total sense to teach deeply instead of just skimming the surface like the spiraled units of the past.  I'm hoping that my county will adopt the UBD model soon because this spiraling of units is driving me crazy.  LOL!  END RANT! :-)

Here are the links to the ELA and Math units that we created:

These should be ELA units 3-8.  We didn't do unit 1-2 at the beginning of the school year.  We started our UBD's on unit 3. 

Unit 3: Characters

Unit 4: Nonfiction

Unit 5: Fix-Up Strategies

Unit 6: Reading Across Genres 

Unit 7: Thinking Deeply About Characters

Unit 8: Reading Science Topics


Unit 1: Numbers and Place Value

Unit 2: Addition/Subtraction Word Problems

Unit 3: Fact Fluency-Unknowns-Adding 3 Numbers

Unit 4: Comparing-Adding 2-Digit Numbers-10 More/10 Less

Unit 5: True/False and Unknowns

Unit 6: Data and Graphing

Unit 7: Geometry

Unit 8: Fractions

I hope these units will help you plan your next UBD or lesson plan.  The units are not completed to perfection so please feel free to overlook any mistakes...they were created with limited time during the school year.  Each unit takes 1-2 hours to complete.  I know you can imagine trying to squeeze these units into the regular planning time that teachers are given.  I was fortunate to work with an awesome team of first grade teachers that were dedicated to creating these units with me.

Have a wonderful week!!


curriculumgal said...

These units are great! I know that tons of hours of work went into creating these. Thanks so much for sharing what you've done. Would any of the units for other grade levels happen to be posted on your old district's webpage?
Thanks again!

Mel Georgiou said...

I was absolutely stunned to find these high quality units as examples to utilize and build from in my own classroom. Thank you!