An effective unit is comprised of carefully designed, interrelated lessons that collectively support and guide students in reaching specific learning objectives. A unit can range from a few to several lessons and can span days or weeks. Unit planning allows the teacher to strategically plan how lessons should progress throughout a year. When teachers effectively plan units, it provides students with opportunities to discover relationships and focus on the interdependence of concepts being taught. The power of an effective unit plan lies in its ability to enhance student learning and build competence and understanding.
Unit planning is an organizational approach that helps teachers reflect upon what students need to accomplish in each unit, and how and when they will accomplish it. A unit plan is a “roadmap” that provides direction on how to reach the curriculum standards of the unit and contains “mile markers” (checks for understanding, quizzes or assessments) that keep the teacher informed on what students need to be successful. The district has some supports in place on the HISD Curriculum website that will assist teachers with creating a unit plan. Effective unit planners plan backwards. This best practice is reflected in the backwards approach in the steps below.
How do I organize objectives to maximize student learning?