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Final Unit Plan Self-Assessment

Amber Kordes
Unit Family

In this unit I demonstrated that I was able to integrate social studies into a first grade curriculum
through the heavy use of childrens literature, math and science connections. I choose the topic of family
as a beginning discussion for student to understand one of the smaller units of community. I felt that this
topic was important to start the year with in order to gain a firm understanding of where to build other
topics of community on throughout the year. I took an intentional concentration of childrens literature in
this unit as a way to integrate both social studies and language arts. This was also a way to allow for the
students to embrace diversity and culture in a manner that was not intrusive. Many of the chosen books in
this unit were chosen with an inner city Milwaukee school in mind having a population of primarily
African American and Hispanic students. The books would allow for the students to appreciate other
cultures but also be able to find similarities in their own experiences.
The integration in my unit is most displayed in the use of literature but allows for the connections
for many other content areas as well. For example I mention the ability to connect the family unit to
science in the ability to explore how the family unit in nature is similar to the family units that we live
Read texts and use media to determine patterns in behavior of parents and offspring that
help offspring survive. [Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns of behaviors could
include the signals that offspring make (such as crying, cheeping, and other vocalizations)
and the responses of the parents (such as feeding, comforting, and protecting the

I would continue the integration as mentioned with having students use the exploration of data within our
family explorations to show how they can demonstrate though data the differences and similarities. I
would have like to have seen a stronger connection between reading and phonics in this unit. I liked the
idea of using word families but was unsure of the time of year in which those would have been taught in a
first grade pacing structure.
I would like to add that this unit is a good example of integration between social studies and language
art (plus a little science, math and art.) Your unit exemplifies this multi-faceted and layered integration
in many different areas including a heavy emphasis on quality literature connections! I cannot think of a
better way to learn in an early childhood setting. I believe that through this mode of teaching you will
foster life-long learners with natural curiosities.
Specifically, you provided the students with many different activities to become familiar with a variety of
family units in the community. You also created learning experiences that would accommodate many
different learning types. You incorporated individual and group learning activities that reinforce your
essential questions and you incorporated real-life experiences (like guest speakers) and provided time
for students to connect with prior knowledge. In your unit, students will be engaged through literature,
class discussions, and a class wide quilt project. Finally, you integrated activities that will allow you to
continually assess your students growth throughout the unit and these activities will also continually
ensure student success on the formative and self assessments.
I have demonstrated by passion for diversity and literature in this unit through my focus on
families and my extensive use of books that I already own in my personal library. This was an exciting
unit to write for it gave me the opportunity to explore my library of culturally relevant looks and
materials. I found that that each book I read was another book that I wanted to share with my students
and find another lesson to bring from the text. I find that in teaching in afterschool I have spent so much
time instructing from childrens books as a ways to help students understanding tough topics I know that
it will continue to be a strategy I use in my classroom.
I would like to add that having fun drives your passion for teaching and for your students learning in a
fun environment increases their abilities to learn more. When you appropriately balance fun with
learning, like you have done in this unit, students formulate positive attitudes about learning that will
help students learn more. I would just love to see the students quilt. (I bet their parents would, too!)
I find that I demonstrated my professional ability in the ways in which I used and edited the
UBD format to the best of my ability. I wanted to try and use a new format of the UBD template in this
unit plan with a few additions of the days of the week. I find that it assisted in my ability to clearly show
my thinking as well as help to give a clear picture of the entire unit. I liked the ability that borrowed from
my peers on adding the days of the week. I find that this would make following this plan very user
friendly. I additionally felt that I grew professionally in the assessment evidence section of the template.
This was an area that we did not cover when I was instructed on the format but I found to be very useful
in the planning of my learning activities.
I would like to add that spelling and mechanics are clean and crisp and reflect proofreading and editing
on your part. Your layout of the unit is very reader and user friendly. The use of UbD format works for
you. Your self assessment also really helped me understand your process in this unit creation. I believe
that another educator could use this unit plan and understand the activities that you chose because of
how it highlights best practices and the UbD format.
As discussed earlier I find that my unit excels in its ability to demonstrate a culturally responsive
classroom. I have chosen to discuss the diversity of not only the families that are in our community but as
well as sexuality, race and culture. This has been demonstrated in books that have been chosen as well as
in the celebration of all differences that are present in our classroom for our performance task.
In most units and lesson plans I tend to move away from technology in my experience from not
having access to it as an afterschool teacher. I attempted in this unit to show videos of books being read
and video clips for the students to watch as a way to assist in the ability to bring technology into the
classroom. In addition I have students researching quilts on line from a list of suggested links and topics.
I believe that in unit such as this it is important to not only have your own voice but the voice of the
people from their own community and experience. For example I could not have summed but what it was
like to be a child of same sex parents but I feel as though my students will gain a better understanding
from their own mouths.
I would like to add that using formative assessment should only improve your ability to be culturally
responsive as a teacher. You have demonstrated this in the variety of formative (and self) assessments
mentioned in this unit. The evidence gathered from these assessments should help your check the
knowledge and skills of the unit for validity and as a way to measure the response from your learners. As
I review your unit once again, I might suggest that you add some things students will take away as to
why a family is important. Perhaps students should know that families sometimes provide examples of
how to treat others and think outside of themselves. (Sounds a bit like developing a heart, right?) I feel
this is inferred in your unit and could be made even more explicit.
As you teach this unit over time, you can keep what works and look for ways to improve the areas that
didnt work as well for you and your students. Only time and experience will provide meaningful
feedback here, in my opinion. And hopefully your access to technology will improve as well.
Great job on your unit, Amber! You provide many great activities for your learners. Your unit
demonstrates thoughtful planning and a keen eye for younger learners. You are very compassionate
about children. Always keep them the center of you.
Please check secondary feedback to read your narrative from this class.