POURSINA Institute of Higher Education
Planning for Teaching
Effective planning is the basis of successful teaching. Planning begins with the goals of a particular teaching-learning situation; encompasses means of attaining those goals, including materials and activities; and terminates with effective procedures for evaluating the degree to which the instructional goals have been achieved. Good planning has the potential to build confidence, and make you feel more secure in lesson execution .
Types of plans. It is suggested that the mentor teacher acquaint the student teacher with the various types of plans during the first week. Basic types of planning include long-range plans for the year or semester, plans of units of work relating to the larger plan, and plans for each day's work -- all contributing to the accomplishment of the major objectives of education.
Cooperative planning. Although the preparation of actual plans is regarded as the primary responsibility of the student teacher, it must be viewed as a team effort action. Thus, the mentor teacher plays a critical role in planning for teaching. A wide range of activities may be included in the planning process, such as, the mentor teacher: serving as an exemplar of well-planned teaching; furnishing basic planning instruction; encouraging, and if necessary, insisting on planning being done; critiquing student prepared plans; recommending modifications; using the plans as a basis for objectifying observations; and helping the student evaluate his or her instructional efforts within the context of the pre-prepared plans. In other words, careful, cooperative planning involves instruction and offers the mentor teacher excellent opportunities for establishing good working relationships and guiding the growth of the student teacher.
Purposes. The purposes of planning include:
clarification of the objectives to the pupils,
provision for individual differences,
development of means for stimulating interest,
provision for a logical instructional sequence,
provision for flexibility, and
enabling the student teacher to teach with confidence.
Elements of planning. The following elements typically are included in plans:
statement of objectives, which clearly shows what is to be taught and the outcomes to be achieved, expressed in terms of pupil learning;
statement of activities, a logical step-by-step sequence of instruction, necessary transition, and an appropriately developed ending;
list of materials to be used;
assessment, including at least two types of assessment: assessment of pupil learning, and assessment of the teaching procedures.
It is a reality that experienced teachers often have plans in their head, use a modified form for planning, or jot down reminders in a weekly planner to guide their instructional objectives. However, your mentor teacher or supervisor should provide you with a model lesson plan format so that teaching expectations are congruent. The lesson plan format is to be viewed as a teaching tool.
The following elements of lesson design are applicable to any model of teaching whether deductive (direct instruction model) or inductive (concept attainment model). Simply knowing these elements when planning for instruction will not ensure that the lesson is implemented with artistry. However, deliberate consideration of these elements should provide you with a structure for reflection when planning instruction and if implemented artistically should increase the probability of student learning.
Questions to Consider when Planning Instruction
Instructional Objective: What is it that you want the learner to be able to do or know by the end of the lesson? What is the rationale for selecting this objective? For Special Educators: Does this objective relate to the IEP goals?
Task Analysis: What are the prerequisite or composite skills or concepts needed in order for the student to be able to achieve the desired instructional outcome? At what level of difficulty will you modify instruction to meet all learnerís needs?
Instructional Aides: What materials, supplies, equipment, etc. will you need or use to enhance instruction and/or appeal to a variety of learning styles? (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.)
Classroom Management: What will you need to think through in order to have a smooth flow of instruction with minimal disruption? (seating arrangement, transitions, student special needs, rules, time, etc.) If you are team teaching - What is everyone's responsibility for lesson implementation? Can you interrupt each other or not, etc.?
Instructional Input: What critical and essential information will the students need to know and how will you present or organize instruction so that students gain this information?
Modeling: Will students need to see a product or process in order to achieve the instructional objective?
Check for Understanding:
During the lesson:
* How will you determine whether students understand the information/task/skill before engaging them in further instruction or practice? (ongoing diagnosis and assessment)
Guided Practice: What activities will the student do with your presence to practice or work toward the desired learning outcome? What will you do to mentor or monitor while students practice?
Closure: How will you end the lesson? Review, reprocess, and debrief.
Independent Practice: Once students can perform without major errors, discomfort or confusion, how will they achieve the desired learnings without your presence.
Checking for Understanding/Final Assessment:
* How will you determine whether the desired learning outcomes (instructional objectives) have been achieved?
Sample Planning Guide for a Directed Teaching Activity*
I. Focusing Student Attention or "Warm Up:" How will an anticipatory set be established to focus students’ learning and to ensure on-task-behavior by all students?
What will be done to help students develop positive attitudes and perceptions about the learning climate and the learning task?
What brief task (up to 5 minutes) can I use to get the students’ attention focused and prepared to think critically?
What brief task can I use to give students meaningful opportunities for practice of a key skill (i.e., procedural knowledge) or application of essential declarative knowledge?
II. Statement of Objective: How will essential learner outcomes for the lesson be stated and communicated to students?
What do I want students to know and be able to do as a result of the lesson?
How will I share the lesson objective(s) with my students?
What is the primary instructional focus of my lesson?
mastery of essential declarative and procedural knowledge?
extension and refinement of essential knowledge?
meaningful use of knowledge?
demonstration of productive habits of mind?
III. Introductory and Developmental Activities (Teacher Directed): How will the lesson be organized in order to ensure student mastery of essential learner outcomes? How will assessment of student progress be integrated into instruction?
A. Declarative Knowledge: What are the general topics and specifics of the lesson?
What are the essential facts, concepts, generalizations, and principles that I wish to emphasize in the lesson?
How will students be aided in constructing meaning, organizing information, and storing it in long-term memory?
How will students experience the information presented in the lesson?
B. Procedural Knowledge: What skills, processes, competencies, and procedures do students really need to master in this lesson?
How will I model the skills and processes in the lesson? How will students be helped to understand, use, and internalize the skill or competency?
IV. Guided Practice Activities (Teacher Monitored): How will students be assisted to extend and refine the knowledge they are acquiring?
What information will be extended and refined?
What activities will be used to help students extend and refine their knowledge? To what extent will student-centered activities be used? To what extent will cooperative learning structures be used?
V. Independent Activities/Meaningful-Use Tasks (Student Alone or in Cooperative Learning Groups): To what extent does this lesson contribute to students’ ability to demonstrate self-regulated, critical, and creative thinking?
What independent activities and tasks are to be part of this lesson?
How do these activities and tasks reinforce students’ mastery of knowledge?
To what extent, if any, do these activities and tasks contribute to developing the skills of decision-making and problem solving?
VI. Assessment Activities: Throughout the course of the lesson, how will I monitor student progress?
What strategies will I use to monitor the extent of students’ mastery of learner outcomes?
What formative assessment strategies will I use to ensure that student progress is monitored from the beginning to the end of the lesson?
What summative assessment strategy or strategies will I use to ensure that all students have mastered the essential learner outcomes?
VII. Closure Activity (Teacher Guided): Such an activity is designed to foster a sense of completion among students. It may be an essential part of the assessment process or it can function as a stand-alone activity.
What did we do?
How far will we go tomorrow? For our next lesson, think about...
In your opinion, what are the most significant or interesting parts of the lesson?
How does the lesson relate to you and your world?
SAMPLE LESSON PLAN FORMAT*
Name ____________________________ Subject ______________________ Date _______________
Title of Lesson ___________________________________________________ TEKS: ____________
Statement of Objective
Warm Up / Focus
Introductory and Developmental Activities
Guided Practice Activities
Independent Activities/Meaningful-Use Tasks
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