Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lesson Builder Planning Tool

We had four assignments to complete this week for my Teaching with Techonology class. In one assignment I had to create a lesson plan using the Lesson Builder tool from the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) web site. Our class practiced using the CAST Universal Design for Learning (UDL) site to learn new ways to apply UDL principles to reach and engage all students. We also experimented with using UDL for student-centered learning as a way to teach with technology by creating a sample electronic book using the Book Builder software which is also available through the CAST web site.

When I first started this project, I was very intimidated by the fact that my team members were all teachers. I had never had any experience writing lesson plans. Even one of my team members stated that writing the lesson plan was very challenging to her. Ususally I have no trouble following a set format, but this assignment seemed to loom before me as an insurmountable task. I have worried about getting it done all week!

I began the assignment last week and spent a couple of hours perusing the CAST web site and viewing examples of lesson plans. I began to use the Lesson Builder tool although I did not find the CAST site to be user-friendly. I spent some time doing a little research online to find some activity ideas to help me create the lesson. Then last night I spent another 2 1/2 hours completing the lesson plan. I decided that I must approach this project the same way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

After I thought I had finished the assignment, I began to review the rubric to make sure I had included everything and sure enough, something was missing, so I had to go back in and make some additions. I am not certain as to what sort of grade I am going to make on this assignment but I felt good about the fact that I was able to complete it and have something to contribute toward our team project.

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