THE UNIT ORGANIZER (2002) (Video Download)

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Quick Overview

The Unit Organizer demonstrates how teachers can "frame" a unit and then organize information into lessons. By framing a unit, the teacher then helps students see and understand the "big picture" of the unit. This video shows how an elementary teacher and her students use the Unit Organizer Routine to introduce a lesson on conferencing to improve writing. (Length: 13:50)

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Through use of the Unit Organizer Routine, teachers can "frame" a unit to enable students to understand the big picture of the unit. Use of the routine helps students understand how the unit fits within a course or sequence of units, see a method for organizing knowledge, define relationships among pieces of information, understand what they are expected to do, monitor their progress, and recognize what they have learned.

Research results showed that when teachers used the Unit Organizer Routine, understanding and retention of the information by low-achieving students, students with learning disabilities, and average-achieving students improved substantially over baseline as reflected in unit test scores and in scores on unit content maps and explanations of these maps.

Students of teachers who regularly and consistently used the Unit Organizer Routine scored an average of 15 percentage points higher on unit tests than students of teachers who used it only irregularly.

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