If you're a seasoned teacher, you know that lesson planning can take up a good chunk of your time. If you're a brand new teacher, you might still be weary of lesson planning even though you've practiced and practiced. Whether lesson planning is stressful or time consuming for you, I hope to give you some tips and tricks on how to plan a great lesson. You can use these tips throughout the whole school year!
Every teacher knows that the learning objective(s) are what the students will be able to do after the lesson is completed. You will use your lesson assessment to see if your students have met that objective. I like to display this at the front of the classroom and review it with my students. They should be apart of the learning objective so they can assess themselves as well (as simple as a 1,2,3,4 scale).
Before I even begin teaching the concept, I love to address any management procedures I am going to need. For example, when we are doing a whole class read aloud, I let my students look through their book for three minutes. Why? Well, inevitably, students are going to want to flip through the book while we're reading. By providing an opportunity for them to do it on your terms, you're less likely to have distracted readers during the lesson.
While you are planning, think about what procedures or rules you will want to review in advance. This way, you don't have to spend your valuable teaching time addressing or correcting behaviors. I did a whole post on classroom management, make sure to check it out here.
Think about how much time you are going to have to teach the content. Do you need to break the content up into small chunks? Will you have time for Think-Pair-Share/parent work? Make sure you allow enough time to assess the learning objectives at the end.
I alway like to give a time range for each part of my lesson. Here's an example:
- Intro/Anticipatory Set (2-3 minutes)
- Build Schema (5 minutes)
- Introduce content (15-20 minutes)
- Practice skills (10-12 minutes)
- Wrap up/Assessment (5-7 minutes)
Use this as a guide when you are planning your lesson. Put your lesson details under each time slot.
Know Your Students
Having a clear understanding of your students and their skill sets will help you as you plan. If your students do really well with pairs, but they struggle with extended group work, try to incorporate that.
Also, make sure to address different learning styles within your lesson. Allow for different modes of delivery, including visuals, audio, movement, etc.
My last pieces of advice are to allow for wiggle room in your lesson and adjust as needed. Sometimes you have a whole week planned out and then you realize your students are struggling or are zipping through. It's okay if your plans need to change. That's a part of being a teacher!
Lesson Plan Resources
If you're not sure what resource to use when you're planning, here are some great online resources to check out: