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Five Quick Tips for Designing Layered Curriculum(R) Units.
© Dr Kathie Nunley, 2017

Number one.

It's often helpful to begin your design with the A Layer. That way you have established in your mind what the essential questions for the unit are.

Number two.

Keep the units short. This is especially important if you are new to Layered Curriculum. My suggestion for new Layered Curriculum teacher's is to keep units to no longer than one week. Even experienced Layered Curriculum teachers should try to keep units at 2 weeks or under.

Number three.

When designing your C- layer assignments, make sure you have first written the learning objectives. Many teachers start by listing assignment options, without really understanding what the learning objectives for the unit need to be. Don't put the cart before the horse.

Number four .

Don't be afraid to try building a project-based Layered Curriculum unit. In a project-based unit, such as a science fair display, the actual display or project becomes the B-layer assignment. The C-layer will then consist of the assignments orresearch required to put the project together. The A-Layer then is an evaluation piece after the projects are displayed.

Number five.

Remember that Layered Curriculum unit design is front-loaded from the teacher's standpoint. This means that the teacher will put a lot of time energy and thought into the design of the unit. But what this leaves you with is time, during class, to play the role of learning facilitator.

 

About the Author:
Dr Kathie Nunley is an educational psychologist, researcher and author of several books on parenting and teaching, including A Student's Brain (Brains.org) and the best selling, "Differentiating the High School Classroom" (Corwin Press). She is the developer of the Layered Curriculum® method of instruction and has worked with parents and educators around the world to better structure schools to make brain-friendly environments. In addition, her work has been used by the Boeing Corporation, Family Circle Magazine, the Washington Post, and ABC television.
Email her: Kathie (at) brains.org

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