I love Backwards by Design planning! It makes so much sense! While I have almost always figured out what it was that I wanted to teach before making a lesson, I had often not thought out how I would find out if the students had learned what the lesson was about. By doing the BbyD way, and figuring that out right from the start, it makes it very easy to plan a lesson! It makes total sense, you need to know where you’re going before you figure out how you’re going to get there!
The task of re-designing a not-so-great lesson into a great one was a fun challenge. While at first, the lesson seemed ok, as we got to reading it some more we realized that it didn’t really meet the intended outcome/indicator objectives. By tackling it from a backwards approach we decided what we wanted the students to learn and a way they were going to present that learning, and then could easily create the rest of the lesson. We knew what the final product was going to be, and therefore we could figure out what time and resources the students would need. By working in a group, we could gather a lot of ideas about how to approach the lesson, and create a good list of questions to ask, things to include in the project and ways to approach it.
I have often liked working alone on projects, but have found recently that I like working with others to create a lesson plan, or at least the overall format/idea of the lesson. I find that when I work alone I get too caught up in finding something really innovative, when often my initial ideas are often quite inventive to most people. Working in this group was a fun, and I think we created a great lesson!