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. Work with students to 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.

Planning Guide

Standard: Convey Ideas in Writing
Goal: To successfully write an accident report for work.

What do we need to know?

How can we learn it?
(Learning Activities)

How will we show we know it?
(Assessment Activities)
How to determine the purpose and audience for accident reports

How to use at least one pre-writing strategy (such as taking notes on the event, making an outline, using an idea web)
Session 1-30 min.:
Class discussion on accident reports
Look at successful and less successful accident reports. (Ask students to bring in actual forms from work.)

Session 2-30 min.:
Students work together to develop an accident report form


Teacher observation of individual students

Student revision checklist

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 to follow to write their accident report and a simpler revision and editing checklist may be used. Students at a higher level may be assigned a different, more complex audience to respond to in their accident report and may be required to use a revision and editing checklist that requires more advanced skills.

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