Understanding Map – Thinking is where your planning begins…


This is the Understanding Map from Harvard’s Project Zero. It is the beginning of my planning through the trimesters. I usually use strategies to teach for understanding, so I need to start planning using one topic of the Understanding Map to develop the rest of my activity. The structure of my planning begins with the Understanding Map, but what’s next? There are a few steps following the Understanding Map to build plannings, even *Body & Movement plannings. Look below the sequence of planning that I’m making for 2019:

  • 1st step: Understanding Map (I’m going to check which topic of UM makes more sense while thinking about an activity/game/sports to develop for children);
  • 2nd step: I’ll look for the “Six Facets of Understanding” which are: Explanation, Interpretation, Application, Perspective, Empathy, and Self-Knowledge. These six facets have a description and examples to guide teachers to choose the best facets to develop activities through the Understanding Map and build a meaningful activity.
  • 3rd step: Find the right Standard of students’ expectations.
  • 4th step: This step we will describe what are students able to practice or/and develop.
  • 5th step: Describe the Visible Thinking Routine I’ll use to help students to reach what the activity and the previous steps are guiding them to achieve. This step comes with an essential question to strive children to think through the process of learning. If you choose facets as Explanation, you can reply students asking a question as “What makes you say that?” and the students will be able to clarify their thoughts about the subject.
  • 6th step: Mention Habits of Mind that students usually go through the process of thinking.
  • 7th step: Assessment of the process of learning.

In my case as PE Teacher, I must add one more step to contextualize my practices as Psychomotricity specialist. I’ll plan a class to develop and improve students’ skills, I mean, psychomotor skills. There are seven different psychomotor skills named:
1. Tonicity;
2. Balance;
3. Lateralisation;
4. Body-Map;
5. Spatial-Temporal Perspective;
6. Gross Motor Skills;
7. Fine Motor Skills.

Understanding the psychomotor skills that we want to develop in PE classes with emphasis, I’ll insert one or two factors into the previous steps above. Simple like that!

*(Body and Movement mean Physical Education at Escola Concept São Paulo).

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