Tagged With: lesson planning
As a teacher, I spend a lot of time preparing lesson plans. Most don’t survive the first five minutes in front of my students but still I go through this preparatory exercise. Over the decades, I’ve come to realize that the product (a completed lesson plan) is less important than the process of organizing my thoughts, thinking about the needs of the students, searching for the right resources, and figuring out the best way to help students achieve goals. Scholastic has eight questions to help teachers plan their lessons:
- Students: What are the academic, social, physical, personal, and emotional needs of students?
- Strategies: Which teaching strategies will best facilitate student learning?
- Grouping: Should I group heterogeneously or homogeneously? What size should groups be?
- Timing: When is the best time to do this lesson? Are there prerequisites students should master?
- Materials: What materials do I need for the lesson to be successful?
- Success: Was the lesson successful? Were students interested? Did students learn? What didn’t work? What will I do differently next time?
- Sequence: What can I do next to build upon this lesson? How can I make it flow?
- Rationale: What is the reason for doing this? What objectives will be accomplished?
What lesson planning normally looks like
That’s a lot to prepare! Normally, I’d create a template or use one provided by my Principal that included these characteristics as well as school-specific ones like Standards Met, Time required, Steps Required, and Collaborations with Colleagues. I’d take a few hours (per lesson) to collect what I needed, visit with co-teachers, update the lesson plan from prior years, and then think how to make it relevant to the learning style of each child I will be teaching. Often — too often — I wouldn’t be able to find the resources I’d carefully stored last year or I would belatedly remember that the plan didn’t work well last year and needed a complete rework. More often than I want to admit, I would run out of time before getting to the part where I differentiate for each student’s needs (I can do that on the fly, can’t I?).
If you’re a fan of Kiddom, the easy way to plan, assess, and analyze learning, you’ll be excited to hear that they added more than 50 features to the new Kiddom 2.0 (see my review of Kiddom). These include:
- Planning — personalized curriculum to meet the changing needs of students
- Reports — visualize progress with beautiful analytics that track student performance
- Student Ownership — empower students with the ability to track their own progress
- Customization — customize content, grading, and analytics specific to unique classroom needs
- Collaboration — amplify information sharing amongst teachers, administrators, parents, and the school community at-large
- Beautiful Design — a major redesign focused on functionality and usability, based on educator feedback
Kiddom 2.0 is available for free for teachers and students and available for use on the web and for iOS at the Apple App Store.