Implementing The Unit

  • "With the standards foundation in place, design each curricular unit of study, from start to finish. Here is a synopsis of each of the 13 sequential steps for doing so. Be sure all of these elements (except the weekly and daily planners) appear in the agreed upon unit planner organizer.

    Introduce the Unit of Study to Students. Present the unit’s Essential Questions to students and explain that they will be able to respond to these questions in their own words by the end of the unit. Preview for students the “unwrapped” concepts and other academic vocabulary terms they will be learning and applying.

    Administer the Unit Pre-Assessment. Set the stage by first explaining to students the purpose of a pre-assessment (not for a grade, but to find out what they already know and don’t know about the upcoming unit of study so that the teacher can plan instruction accordingly). Then administer the common formative pre-assessment (or individual classroom pre-assessment, if not part of a collaborative team).

    Score and Analyze Student Data. Score and analyze student pre-assessments individually or with colleagues in grade-level or course-specific instructional Data Teams to diagnose student learning needs.

    Decide How to Differentiate Instruction. Referring to the unit details provided with the unit planning organizer, decide how to differentiate instruction of specific students based on assessment evidence - including the enrichment of any students who are already proficient prior to unit instruction.

    Begin Teaching the Unit. Begin teaching the planned unit of study, flexibly grouping students according to their learning needs and using identified instructional strategies.

    Administer Progress-Monitoring Checks. Administer frequent, informal progress - monitoring checks aligned to the end-of-unit assessment - that coincide with the building - block progression of “unwrapped” concepts and skills - in order to make accurate inferences regarding students’ understanding. These informal checks will assist individual educators and instructional Data Teams in monitoring the effectiveness of their targeted teaching strategies for the unit.

    Differentiate Instruction Based on Progress - Monitoring Checks. Modify and adjust instruction for individual students, small groups, and/or the entire class based on the results of the informal checks for understanding.

    Schedule Mid-Unit Evaluation of Instructional Strategies. Schedule a mid-unit evaluation of the targeted teaching and differentiation strategies to determine their effectiveness. During this meeting, participating teachers will share effective use of the targeted strategies and may decide to change any strategies that are not accomplishing their intended purpose. Individual educators who are not part of an instructional Data Team will reflect on the effectiveness of their own selected strategies and make any needed changes.

    Continue Teaching the Unit. During the remaining weeks of the unit, continue teaching the “unwrapped” concepts and skills in the predetermined “learning progressions” sequence for specific learning activities and engaging learning experiences (authentic performance tasks). Continue using the targeted instructional strategies with all students, different groups of students, and individual students as planned.

    Continue Modifying and Adjusting Instruction. Continue modifying and adjusting instruction as needed for individual students, small groups, and/or the entire class based on evidence derived from ongoing progress - monitoring checks.

    Administer End-of-Unit Assessment. Administer the common formative post-assessment (or individual end-of-unit assessment if not part of a collaborative team).

    Score and Analyze Student Data. Score and analyze student data individually or with colleagues in grade - level or course - specific instructional Data Teams. Celebrate successes! Plan how to address students’ identified learning needs during the “buffer” week.

    Enrich, Remediate, and Intervene. During a “buffer” week scheduled between the unit of study just completed and the next one scheduled, reteach differently those students who are still not proficient; use Tier 2 and 3 intervention strategies and other appropriate strategies for at-risk students. Reassess all non-proficient students. Enrich those students who are proficient and advanced.


    Reflect and Begin Again. When the unit is officially completed, reflect individually and/or with colleagues about what worked well and what, if anything, should be changed the next time the unit is implemented. Take a deep breath, redirect your focus, and then repeat the process with the next unit of study.