As you implement blended, personalized learning, necessary routines, expectations, and norms become clearer. Some you are prepared for, and some you aren’t. You might find yourself mid-year thinking, “I wish I would have…” We know it’s several months away, but before this fresh start feeling fades, we decided to focus your thinking on Back To School by sharing the concept of a “Unit 0!”
What is Unit 0?
Unit 0 is designed specifically for learning, co-constructing, and practicing classroom routines and expectations. In addition, students are introduced and become familiar with tools for pacing, tracking learning, check-ins and more.
Design this unit like any other.
1. Know “The Point” of your unit
ie.. The purpose of this unit is-understanding, co-constructing, practicing and using expectations, routines, tools and norms in a blended, personalized classroom.
2. Establish learning goals and desired outcomes, including how and what you want to communicate with parents
3. Begin with the end in mind. What evidence will show you that students understand?
4. Curate and create information, lessons, and activities needed
After the unit consider what worked, and what needs tweaking. How will students continue using what is learned in Unit 0 throughout the year?
What goes in Unit 0? Some initial ideas...
- Describe the classroom environment - “day in the life of”
- Debunk myths (students are on screens all day long)
- What tools are used, why, when, and how
- Where and how to access and share materials
- What is the teacher doing? How is it different from traditional settings?
- Activities for co-constructing norms
- Activities for practicing protocols and procedures for independent, small group and large-group time
- Activities to build relationships
Some templates to get you started!
Unit 0: Slide Development Template Modern Classroom Project
Classroom Communication Toolkit Modern Classroom Project
Sample Unit 0 organized in LMS from https://ohiobc.org/
- Start working on your Unit 0 now, or at the very least, keep track of what you want in it as the year progresses.
- Calendar checkpoints throughout the school year to reflect on how it’s going. What’s working? What needs more practice?
- Add plenty of time for practicing routines and procedures. Don’t assume even the oldest students know how to do what you ask.
- If students are struggling, stop and regroup- ask them for feedback. What’s not working? Why? What would help it go better?
- If a particular behavior issue arises during the year, try a 1:1 conference with a student using the materials from Unit 0.
- Share your ideas about what you would include in Unit 0 in the comments below!