Applying Backwards Design to a Traditional Textbook: An Algebra I Unit Plan
This Capstone project consists of a backwards design format unit plan based on corresponding units from a specific traditional Algebra I textbook. The student goals that I have identified are closely aligned with standards outlined by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, as well as relevant Common Core Standards. The unit plan is designed to allow for both conceptual and procedural fluency; since the textbook that serves as my basis stresses skills, I have added to its activities and modified the sequence to emphasize the important role that conceptual understanding plays in the ability to think algebraically. The rationales for my individual and overarching modifications and design decisions are based on my coursework in Mathematics Education and the accompanying literature. I have structured the unit plan using the Understanding by Design framework developed by authors and educators Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (2005). By integrating some of the valuable activities, exercises, and questions provided in the teacher’s manual of the textbook with self-designed learning experiences, I have created a unit on linear equations that provides more socially relevant opportunities for students to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of linearity.