Outcomes, Assessments, and Activities


Providing significant learning environments and authentic learning opportunities for students is crucial as it engages and motivates them, allows for the application of knowledge in real-world contexts, promotes holistic understanding, develops essential skills, enables personalization, and fosters cultural competence. By embracing these approaches, we prepare students to thrive in a dynamic world, equipping them with the tools needed for success and empowering them to make a positive impact on society.  In addition, as educators, we need to ensure that we are considering the desired learning outcomes before planning assessments, and that we consider assessments before designing activities.


Learning Environment & Situational Factors to Consider
Specific Context of the Teaching/Learning Situation
This class will have 15 students.  This is a class at a suburban high school and students’ ages vary from 14 to 18 years old.  The class is a one semester class and will meet every weekday for the duration of the semester for 42 minutes.  A Blended model of instruction will be utilized.  There will be a corner with alternative seating for silent reading; there will be horseshoe table that seats up to 4 people, and each student will have a station where a desktop computer is available to them.   All other materials will be supplied.  The infrastructure is adequate for all students to be online at the same time, without connectivity issues.
General Context of the Learning Situation
The learning expectations for students at my high school is high.  In previous years, we have been recognized as a Blue Ribbon School.  However, our district recently reconfigured the campus boundaries and our At-Risk population and EB population has expanded significantly.  A majority of the students I will be working with, will be either At-Risk, or EB.  Texas State House Bill 4545, requires school districts to provide interventions for students who did not pass the STAAR exam, and this class will fulfill the requirements for HB4545.  
Nature of the Subject
Strategic Literacy is a course that will target different skill sets and areas of knowledge that involve reading, such as vocabulary, spelling ability, comprehension, critical analysis and language articulation.  In addition to struggling with reading comprehension, individuals with poor reading skills face challenges in making inferences and connecting ideas within the text. Their difficulty in grasping the conceptual nature of the material stems from a lack of prior knowledge and limited ability to draw meaningful connections. These issues contribute to their overall struggle in comprehending and extracting meaning from the content.
Characteristics of the Learners
A majority of students enrolled in Strategic Literacy have life challenges that most high school students do not have to face.  Many of the students might be working full-time to help contribute to the family finances, or they could be living on their own and supporting themselves.  They may face homelessness, be teenage parents navigating challenges with or without support, have experienced trauma, or be English Language Learners. Despite these circumstances, our campus maintains high learning goals and expectations for these students. We firmly believe that with the right support, every student has the capacity to learn and succeed.

Characteristics of the Teacher 
I endorse the Visible Learning philosophy. It centers on the idea that effective teaching and learning practices should be made visible, transparent, and measurable. This approach emphasizes the importance of focusing on the impact of teaching strategies on student learning outcomes. Visible Learning emphasizes the power of feedback, effective classroom dialogue, and fostering a culture of high expectations. By providing students with clear learning intentions, success criteria, and ongoing feedback, educators can empower students to become active participants in their own learning journey, leading to improved academic achievement and growth.  I have a heart for my students who have experienced trauma, poverty, or mental illnesses.  My biggest asset as a teacher is that I acknowledge that students are humans deserving of respect, regardless of their behavior or academic barriers.

Questions/Answers for Formulating Significant Learning Goals
After completion of this course, the goal is not only for students to pass the STAAR exam, but also for students to develop the ability to comprehend, analyze, and interpret texts effectively in order to achieve meaningful understanding and make informed decisions. Ultimately, the goal of strategic literacy is to enable students to apply these skills beyond the classroom, empowering them to be lifelong learners capable of engaging with and making sense of the vast amount of information in the world.

Foundational Knowledge

  • Students will need to be able to have an understanding of vocabulary, phonics, and decoding skills to comprehend and interpret text effectively.
  • Fluency in reading, including proper pacing and expression, enhances their ability to engage with the content.
  • Familiarity with grammar and syntax helps students decipher the structure and meaning of sentences.

Application Goals

  • Students will build a broad base of background knowledge across various subjects
  • Students will extract meaning from complex texts.
  • Students will identify main ideas and locate supporting details.
  • Students will be able to discern the author's purpose and perspective.

Integration Goals

  • Enable students to apply reading and writing skills in authentic and meaningful ways within different subject areas.
  • Enable students to utilize literacy strategies to comprehend and analyze fiction, non-fiction, scientific texts, primary source documents, mathematical problems, and more.

Human Dimensions Goals

  • Students will learn how to give constructive criticism
  • Students will learn how to be helpful and not hurtful when providing feedback.
  • Students will learn which role they prefer when working as part of a team.

"Learning-How-to-Learn" Goals

  • Students should learn about how to organize their thoughts on paper. They will learn how to chunk projects into manageable pieces.
  • Students will effective use literacy skills as tools for learning and communicating across all areas of study.
  • Students will learn how to think and communicate logically and provide sound arguments to defend their thinking.

Over-arching goal
To empower students with the skills, strategies, and dispositions necessary to become independent, critical, and proficient readers and thinkers. It aims to equip students with the ability to comprehend, analyze, and interpret a variety of texts effectively, enabling them to extract meaning, make connections, and apply knowledge in various contexts. 


Fink, L. D. (2005). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Retrieved from: https://www.deefinkandassociates.com/GuidetoCourseDesignAug05.pdf

Harapnuik, D. (2016, June 16). Mapping your learner’s journey. Retrieved from: http://www.harapnuik.org/?p=6420


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