Using the Performance Continuum in Planning Activities

Steps 3 and 4 of the teaching/learning cycle involve designing a learning activity to address the real-life concerns of learners and developing a plan to capture evidence and report learning. At this stage teachers can develop their own planning tool or use one described in Step 3. Below are some suggested steps for using the performance continuum as a tool to complete this planning guide.

  1. Based on the information she collected about students' prior knowledge Joan determined that most of her students were working toward Performance Level 2. Before class she looked carefully again at the standard and the Level 2 indicators and considered these in light of the specific goal the class would be working on. What would the students need to know about budgeting and meal planning? How would she know whether the students had advanced in their problem solving and decision making skills?

  2. Armed with some preliminary ideas, Joan asked the class to help her to fill out a planning guide by brainstorming with students what to list in the left-hand column "What do we need to know?" (Step 3 of the teaching and learning cycle). She started by paraphrasing the language in the Knowledge, Skills and Strategies section of Level 2 Performance Level Description and contextualizing the information to fit the concrete example of planning a monthly food budget. For example, she started by addressing the key knowledge in KSS Bullet 1: "In problem solving, one of the first things we need to do it to identify exactly what the problem really is and how to gather and organize information about it. What can we do in class to help us identify problems related to planning a food budget? "After discussion, the class decided that brainstorming would be a simple, effective way to do this? "How will we show that we have learned something about identifying problems," Joan asked next. After a bit more discussion the group decided that each student should be required to identify at least three problems they personally have had related to the topic.

  3. Joan and the class moved back and forth between the goal-specific knowledge, skills and strategies and the Level 2 dimensions of performance until they had covered all the main activities they would need to reach the goal. As you look at the complete Planning Guide for this activity you will find that some activities may cover several dimensions of performance at once while others may address just one sub-skill within a single dimension. As they worked, they also tried to keep in mind the amount of time they had to work on this project. For example, in this case, they wanted to work on this activity for only part of the class time over five class sessions.

Planning Guide

Standard: Solve Problems and Make Decisions
Teaching and Learning Activity: To develop a monthly budget.

What do we need to know?

How can we learn it?

How will we show we know it?
How to identify the problem and gather and organize information about it (KSS Bullet 1). Session 1-60 min.:
Class discussion of family meal planning and budgeting. Have students identify problems that arise in their own families when it comes to family meals and affording them. At the end of the discussion, students are required to list at least three problems they have encountered (or potential problems they could foresee happening) with family meals and budgeting for family meals.
Teacher observation

Student written product

To see a complete version of this Planning Guide, click here.

Click here to print out a blank Word version of the Planning Guide to use in your program.

Multi-Level Classes

In multi-level classes you may find that students fall within two or three different performance levels. In this case you may need to create modified planning guides for each level. Often you can plan instruction where the activities themselves are similar but the expectations are different depending on the level. For example, students performing at a lower level may be asked to propose fewer, simpler solutions to the problem. Students at a higher level may be assigned a more complex problem-solving task where they are expected to develop their own solutions that require many steps and use many outside resources.

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