Detailed planning is a key ingredient when it comes to success, and one of the biggest aspects of planning you’ll have to complete as a teacher is the lesson plan. Thinking about how you are going to approach a lesson will help you accomplish your goals in the classroom in the most effective and time-efficient way. There is no set formula for writing a lesson plan, but as you become more experienced as an instructor, you will probably develop your own way of writing one. If you’re just starting out or are looking for some ways to improve your lesson plans, here are a few foolproof guidelines to help you write a successful lesson plan.
- Start with objectives.
Before you ever start writing your lesson plan, think about what you want your students to learn from this lesson. What do you want them to accomplish? How will they demonstrate their understanding? You will also want to ensure that your class objectives fit the educational guidelines that are provided by both your school and the state.
- Give context.
Help your students understand why they’re learning about this topic and how it relates to what they have already learned. For example, if you are going to be teaching the students how to multiply fractions, remind them of how they’ve already learned how to add and subtract fractions. Demonstrate how this is the next step and provide a few examples to get them warmed up.
- Write yourself a cheat sheet.
If you want, you can write yourself a script detailing exactly how you are going to present this new information to your students, or you can simply write out general notes. You shouldn’t read directly from your script, but planning out your steps beforehand can help you come up with the best way to explain the information.
- Include in-class activities.
After you present the information to your students, you should plan a guided activity for them to complete under your supervision. It could be a worksheet, group discussion, or simple experiment, but you need to be there to help if they have trouble understanding any part of the activity. [refer to printable activities here]
- Discuss independent practice.
To reinforce the concepts that you introduce to your students, you should discuss an independent activity that the students will complete at home. The difficulty of this assignment should be based on how well the students did with the guided activity. If they understood, you can include a few more challenging questions/problems in the independent assignment, but if they need more practice with the basics, do just that.
- Choose an assessment.
This is one of the most important parts of learning because assessments help you determine if your teaching style is effective and how well the students grasp the concepts. You can plan a traditional assessment, like a test or quiz, or have a Q&A session, experiment, or an informal verbal discussion.
- Predict challenges.
Not only do you need to think about what challenges students may face when it comes to the material, but also behavioral issues. It’s easier to anticipate these challenges once you start getting to know your students more, but even if you don’t, try to imagine what may happen during the lesson and how you will handle it.