Assessment for Learning

Effective Lesson Planning

Stage 1: Identifying the Desired Results

Focus on the Major Skills of the Curriculum:

  1. Analytical - using logical reasoning
  2. Conceptual - based on mental concepts
  3. Information Mananagement -acquisition of information from one or more sources, the custodianship and the distribution of that information to those who need it
  4. Communication - imparting or exchanging of information
  5. Meta-Cognitive - planning how to approach a given task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress


  1. Clarifying, understanding, and sharing learning intentions
  2. Engineering effective classroom discussions, tasks and activities that elicit evidence of learning
  3. Providing feedback that moves learners forward
  4. Activating students as learning resources for one another
  5. Activating students as owners of their own learning (Rystad 2013)

The Backward Design Approach

"In teaching you should begin with the final destination in mind and then determine your desired route" (Newman 2013, Chapter 9, sec. 3, para. 3).



Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

Learning Objective: This 2nd-grade literacy objective will ensure that students compare and contrast two similar stories based upon similar characters and story. The students will be able to verbally explain what similarities they noticed and what differences they found in the two stories and discuss these ideas in small groups.

What is backward design?
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  • "Students may be fully engaged in and enjoy these activities, but learning occurs only accidentally because the activity focuses on engagement rather than meaning" (Newman 2013, Chapter 9, sec. 2, para. 3).
  • Focusing efforts "on covering the entire textbook or all the required material in a chapter or course without a clear purpose" (Newman 2013, Chapter 9, sec. 2, para. 6).

Stage Two: Assessment Evidence

Six Facets of Understanding

  1. Can explain: provide thorough, supported, and justifiable accounts of phenomena, facts, and data.
  2. Can interpret: tell meaningful stories; offer apt translations; provide a revealing historical or personal dimension to ideas and events; Make it personal or accessible through images, anecdotes, analogies, and models.
  3. Can apply: effectively use and adapt what we know in diverse contexts.
  4. Have perspective: see and hear points of view through critical eyes and ears.
  5. Can empathize: find value in what others might odd, alien, or implausible; perceive sensitivity on the basis of prior direct experience.
  6. Have self-knowledge: perceive the personal style, prejudices, and habits of mind that both shape and impede our own understanding; we are aware of what we do not understand and why understanding is so hard (Newman 2013, Chapter 9, sec. 4, para. 19).
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Stage Three: Learning Plan

Some questions to ask:

"Will your activities equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve the results in your assessment? What will need to be taught and how will you do it? What strategies will help prepare your students for the future? What materials are necessary? Are all the activities connected to the outcomes?" (Newman 2013, Chapter 9, sec. 4, para. 31).
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Newman, R. (2013). Teaching and learning in the 21st century: Connecting the dots. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Rystad, M. (2013, April 7). Assessment for Learning [Video file]. Retrieved from