For some odd reason, assignments for my Graphic Novels (ENGL 386) class kept seeming to collide with what I needed to do in EDU 351. A book I read for the literature class became my inspiration for the semester. After reading and writing a blog article on Maus, that novel and its symbolism became my topic for how I designed my mini-unit. When it came time to do this final project I knew that I wanted to do something creative. My end result is an info doodle that reads kind of like a graphic novel. I was introduced to the info doodle by two of my classmates in EDU 384. The idea behind an info doodle (sometimes called sketchnotes) is to create a visual representation for concepts. You are supposed to use as few words as possible. I ended up with a lot more text that I wanted just to make sure that the ideas behind each of my graphics could clearly be understood.
To showcase the importance of backwards design, or starting your lesson planning with what your want the students to be able to know, understand, and do at the end, I wanted my doodle to somehow work backwards. To accomplish that, I used the graphic novel format of manga, which is read right-to-left. I know that reading this was is unusual for a lot of people, so I included my favorite part of info doodles, arrows! A big arrow starts where Western readers would expect to start reading and naturally guides them through shape and color to the bottom, right hand corner where the KUD occurs.
I wanted a simple way to show how different students come into school with drastically different life and academic experiences that affect how they perform in school. I decided to create three graphs with the first three factors I could think of: Socio-Economic Status, Amount of Previous Knowledge, and Ability to Achieve Greatness. The last one is sappy and hopelessly optimistic, I know, but so am I. I used different colors for the students to try and showcase the diversity of students who will come through our classroom doors.
Continuing off of the theme that all of our future students are so different, I represented the fact that off of the kids have to take the test with no consideration given for their personal life experiences by making the login name, in a very Odysseus fashion, to be Every Student.
Following the arrow up to the middle row, I draw a scale to represent the balance that teachers need to try to achieve between ‘teaching to the test’ and making their lessons applicable to the real world. Teachers need to make sure that their lessons are standards-based; for example, when writing my practicum lesson I had to go look through all of the 6th grade English/Language Arts standards for the commonwealth of Virginia to pull out specific numbers (6.2) and subheadings (e, f, and h). On the other hand, the clear objectives that teachers design and give to the students need to be aligned to the real world. Students are always practicing what kind of people they are and will be when released out into the world, so teachers should giving them authentic classroom experiences that relate to situations they will face.
Next comes a quick overview of assessments. Summative assessments come at the end of the lesson and should relate directly to those clear objectives. True/False was the easiest to showcase for my doodle, but the broader categories include selected-response, constructed-response, performance assessment, and portfolios. I included an index card on top of my pretend summative assessment test to showcase how a quick and easy way to do a formative assessment is an exit ticket at the end of the class to check for understanding.
Pulling from my knowledge of Universal Design for Learning (from EDUC 384), I listed some examples of how to differentiate by providing the student with choice and asking tiered questions based off of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
The top row of my doodle is about the different models of instruction. I listed some of them and then drew the different ways in which the students interact with other students. Finally, the teacher is ready to start planning a lesson. By following the arrows, they go right back to beginning to go through all of this again because it is vital to keep everything we learned in mind when planning lessons.