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Lesson Planning and Organization

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Lesson planning and organizing those lesson plans is one of the most difficult and time consuming tasks that we do as teachers. I currently have a student teacher and he sometimes has great lessons plans but the organization of those plans tends to be off a little bit. What makes a great lesson plan? How do you organize a lesson that makes sense for the students? How do you plan a lesson if the credential program has not walked the teachers through that? 

First things first:  The very first step is to lay everything out you want to teach for the unit or month you want to teach. I like to get the standards for what I am teaching and the book I am using to drive the ideas for the lessons. I then go through each section and write down what I will be trying to teach from that chapter. For example, if I am teaching World History and the topics are Mussolini, Stalin and Hitler then I would take at least 3 days to teach about each of these men. I also will want to show them some good video so that the students will get to see what these men did in addition to hearing about it from me. I will usually do 3-4 different things with the topic to really drive the points home about the topics I am teaching on. I would then look at what I want the students to know and what I want them to do. There should be some accountability, which is a quiz or exist slip or writing assignment to show what they have learned. During the weekend I like to get the things I am doing daily more nailed down. For example I like to teach in groups of 3 for each day which breaks things up nicely for the teacher and the students.

Secondly organization: My student teacher has been doing some good lessons, but one thing that is lacking is the organization of the lesson within the actual day. Lets take Wednesday of this last week. My student teacher was going to teach a concept attainment lesson on Fascism and Communism. He had a bunch of different quotes and descriptions of each concept in little bags as he was going to just have the students start by making 2 piles and do a reading on Fascism. I did not think this was a good idea as the pile making and discussion was where the energy of the lesson was going to come from. I told him to start with the definition of Fascism and Communism and then have the students read the excerpt on Fascism and Communism before making piles and discussing the two different concepts. Once he reorganized his lesson it seemed to go more smoothly and the students were able to learn a little more about Fascism and Communism. As a concluding activity I told him to have the students write down on a small piece of paper the differences between Fascism and Communism as a concluding / check for understanding activity.

Thirdly, a Great Online Resource: This is a great online resource if you are looking for some planning tools to do your planning with. Plan Board App

Hopefully this helps a little with the planning and organization of your lessons.

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