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 you collected in Steps 1 and 2, determine the performance levels of your students. For example, students who have mastered the knowledge and skills described in Performance Level 2 can work on the dimensions of performance described in Performance Level 3.

  2. Start to fill out a planning guide by brainstorming with students what to list in the left-hand column "What do we need to know?" Make sure you and your students have a copy of the description of the performance level you have selected to look at as you brainstorm. Move back and forth between the goal-specific knowledge, skills and strategies and the dimensions of performance at the level you have selected until you have covered all the main activities you will need to reach the goal. You will find that some activities may cover several dimensions of performance while others may address just one sub-skill within a single dimension.

  3. Fill out the middle column of the Planning Guide by thinking about the activities you will plan. Consider how much time each activity will take and how much time overall you have. In some cases you can do this with students. In other cases, where their language skills are limited you may need to do most of this work on your own.

Klaus began by asking students to think of the best way to learn how to give a tour of the factory. Several students mentioned one supervisor who was very good at this. Klaus agree that he would ask the supervisor to give a "mock" tour between shifts. The students decided that they would take notes during the tour. Klaus suggested they write up the notes and use them as a model "script" to practice with. The students agreed. Together they roughed out how many days they might need to work on the activity. After they had a chance develop the script and practice other kinds of language they might need to successfully give a tour, Klaus suggested that they come up with a checklist for evaluating how well they were able to perform the task. Although it would take several class sessions to work on this activity, the class felt it was worth the time since being able to describe what goes on in the factory is something they need to be able to do in other contexts, such as telling friends and neighbors about their work and talking about different kinds of work that goes on in the factory with their co-workers.

Planning Guide

Standard: Speak So Others Can Understand
Goal: To be able to give a tour of the workplace (funiture factory)

What do we need to know?

How can we learn it?
(Learning Activities)

How will we show we know it?
How to know enough English language and vocabulary to (KSS 1, 2):

--greet to visitors

--describe what is done in each part of the factory

--respond to questions (visitors have)
Session 2-60 min.:

Ask about a shift manager to give a "sample" tour. Have students participate in the tour and take notes. Make sure students make note of everything, including how the shift manager greets adn takes leave of teh visitors (5-6)

Divide students into teams to work on different parts of a tour "script"


Teacher observation of individual students

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 given a more highly structured plan for developing and delivering their scripts. Students at a higher level may be assigned to develop a longer script for a more complex audience where they will have to use more strategies to ensure understanding.

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