Planning better in the new year: #3 what students will know

You have an assessment and you have your enduring understandings, what’s next? Create a list of what students need to know! Not skills, not what they can do, what facts and information do they need to know to be successful on your assessment.

Throughout the unit you will hit your enduring understandings hard but you will also be teaching a lot of great information that many of your students will find compelling and memorable!

In my water unit, I want them to know the names of some diseases borne in dirty water, the names of some places where water is scarce (Cochabamba water wars is one example), and the names of some companies who create filtration systems or dig wells for those who lack access to clean water.

What do you want your students to know?

Author: senoracmt

I began teaching Spanish in Illinois in 1994. I have taught levels 1-4 in a small rural high school, 8th grade introductory Spanish, Biology 1, and 101 and 102 at the community college level. My Spanish classes are partnered with the community college to offer students 8 semester hours of dual credit on completion of Spanish 4. In 2011 I met Carol Gaab and Kristy Placido and have since co-authored the book "La hija del sastre" with Carol Gaab and authored the novels "La Calaca Alegre", "Bianca Nieves y los 7 toritos." "Vector," "48 horas" and "Bananas" through Fluency Matters. In 2006 I became National Board certified and I have been serving as a mentor both for candidates seeking certification in world languages other than English and a virtual mentor for candidates in all certificate areas. I completed my Masters degree in Spanish education in 2011 and did my research on the use of Understanding by Design to create meaningful cultural units for the language classroom. I am a frequent presenter on this topic, please consider me if you are interested in a workshop on backward design. In 2013 I was named the ICTFL Foreign Language teacher of the year and in 2014 I was selected as CSCTFL's teacher of the year. In November of 2014 I was lucky enough to be one of the five finalists for the ACTFL National Teacher of the Year in San Antonio, TX. What a "Cinderella" experience! You can reach me via email at senoracmt at

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