I’ve learned that the objective of the lesson plan is your goal. A soccer players goal is to score, a ballet dancers goal is to perform. A teachers goal is to teach. Ask yourself this question before you teach each lesson:
What do you want your students to learn from this lesson? What is the goal?
Lesson plans vary. Throughout college, we were required by most professors to create in depth lessons, explaining each and every detail, from the materials to what you would ask and say to your students. Okay, well that was great for me to sustain, but in the real world of education, teachers don’t always or actually really EVER make full and complete lesson plans. I am thankful though that I feel I can write a detailed and creative lesson plan while making sure I include the standards and UDL guidelines.
Half of the programs we teach from already have scripted lesson plans. One of my favorite factors about teachers is creating challenging lessons for my students. I tried to express the importance of creating engaging lessons to the educators in Haiti. There methods work, memorization and preach to teach, but how many students can actually say they like school? I want my students to come to school and have a real fundamental experience.
Lesson Plans should include:
1. Objective: This is when you ask yourself that question… What exactly do I want my students to gain from this lesson? I believe it is important to express to the students what the main objective is before each lesson. You could also discuss the objective during your launch, or by asking an open-ended question.
2. Launch: How do you launch a lesson? This can be boring, but it should be exciting and the teacher should be enthusiastic about sharing this knowledge. The teacher sets the mood.
3. Direct Instruction: Do whatever you need to do to get your students to meet the objective. Most of the time this is scripted, but adding your own spice is preferred.
4. Guided Practice: You’ve taught your students how to do something, now it is time for them to dive in and try it. This is when modeling for students what you expect and want will be an advantage. Model EVERYTHING! You now facilitate and guide students while they practice.
5. Independent/Collaborative Practice: This can be a lot of fun and beneficial to the students. I like this part of the lesson because this is when the creative side of the teacher comes into play. Of course you try to be original throughout the lesson, but now you want your students to practice what you taught in a different environment, and you can facilitate this to make it enjoyable.
6. Assessment/Closure: I love that there is a variety of ways to do this. You can asses formally or informally, you can give a whole group quiz randomly selecting students to answer, or you can use the ‘ticket out the door’ technique. So many options, but this is when you will acknowledge what students did or didn’t take in.
There are still several factors included in any lesson plans, really, but this is usually the stuff that is stored in the back of your mind, floating around.
Questions to ponder: Does this lesson include opportunities for multiple intelligences (diversity)? Does it meet state standards and follow the common core? Did I include resources, such as technology and manipulatives? Should I have a plan b if plan a doesn’t work? Do I have extra work for them to do after?
Of course we all know that some lessons have to be taught and it may not be the best and most interesting topic, but I believe it is all in your attitude.