Learning Plan Format

Planning Learning Opportunities for All Students

A variety of assessment data in Albemarle County Public Schools indicates that students in the Division perform well when asked what they know, a little less well when asked what they understand, and relatively poorly when asked to apply what they know and understand in a non-routine real-life context.  These data will only change in response to changes in the routine learning opportunities provided to students.  The Learning Plan Format included in the Framework for Quality Learning is designed to scaffold teachers through developing and executing such learning opportunities.  Teachers working in professional learning communities constantly seek to improve the learning of all students by exploring the following key questions:

What do we want each student to learn?

How will we know each student has learned it?

How will we respond when students experience difficulty in learning?

How will we deepen the learning for students who have already master the knowledge and skills?


Using the Learning Plan Format

In planning concept-centered learning, teachers identify essential understandings, questions, knowledge and skills, and assessment in advance of planning instruction.  Instructional strategies and activities are crafted to support essential understandings and the type of knowledge (Marzano, 2001). Learning plans describe the suggested instructional model and strategies, vocabulary, resources and materials required, procedure, grouping strategies, differentiation, and extension (Figure 8 and Appendix C).

SchoolCenter PictureAlbemarle County Public Schools Learning Plan Format

Unit:  What unit of study does this lesson support?

Lesson Description:  How will student describe this lesson?

Students will know:  What ideas, concepts, information, and facts will students be able to recall or recite?

Students will understand:   What ideas, concepts, information, and facts will students be able to explain, interpret, manipulate or apply in new situations?

Students will be able to:  What skills will students demonstrate? 

Vocabulary: What terms must students know and use?

Instructional model/strategies:  Which instructional models and strategies are most suited to the specific knowledge and skills addressed in this lesson?

Resources/Materials: What resources/materials must be available to students?  How will these materials and resources enhance student engagement and provide opportunities for differentiation?

Procedure:  What procedure(s) that engage students will be implemented in this lesson?  What will students do during the lesson?  What aspects of the lesson will present novelty, variety, and choice?

Grouping Strategies:  What instructional grouping will be used to support high levels of engagement and learning by all students?  What opportunities will students have to engage with peers and others related to this lesson?

Differentiation:  How will you use strategies, materials, and grouping to meet the needs of all learners?

Extension:  What opportunities will be offered to extend this lesson beyond the classroom time allotted?

Formative Assessment(s):  How will students set their goals and assess their progress?  How will rubrics, models, self-assessment, and repeated practice with specific feedback be used to improve student learning?  How will students' performance in this lesson shape the next steps in your instruction?  What is the significance of the student performance?

Figure 8.  Learning Plan Format

Sources: Adapted from Erickson, 2002; McMillan, 2001; Wiggins & McTighe, 1998.


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