Lesson plans are an essential part of teaching. They help us organize our instruction and help keep us focused. I like to think of lesson plans as my “blueprints” that help guide my instruction. Of course they are fluid and adjustments can be made to lessons, but the concepts have structure and objectives are clear.
Throughout the years I have used many different types of lesson planning strategies and templates. For the last 5 years I have been creating my own lesson planning templates based on my specific needs and curriculum. Through collaboration and my own experiences, I have come to realize what essential components are needed (but not limited to) to build effective lesson plans.
- Measurable Objectives
Objectives guide the lesson and focus on what the students should learn and do by the end of the lesson. It’s important to make sure they are measurable so progress monitoring can be built in. This helps to create a clear picture of student learning. It also provides a basis for any intervention strategies that may be needed.
- Check for Prior Knowledge
To maximize student learning, it’s important to have a clear picture of what they already know. This not only provides a starting point on which to teach your content, but it also provides a “roadmap” for where you want to take your students in regards to your lessons.
- Hands On/Exploration Activities
This part of the lesson is by far favored by all students. Kids are natural explorers. It’s important to provide them with various opportunities to explore and collaborate. Collaborative learning, communication, creativity, and critical thinking are all essential components of 21st century learners.
- Assessment Piece
This should be directly linked with the measurable objectives. Assessment is needed in order to progress monitor student learning based on the objectives. This provides opportunities to modify instruction to build student mastery of concepts and skills being taught.
- Intervention Piece
Intervention is based on the assessment given. This can consist of small group instruction, re teaching a concept or skills, or even providing enrichment opportunities.
Effective lessons begin with effective planning. I hope these tips were helpful and useful in implementing into your own lesson planning components.
Here is a video about how I create my lesson plans and the template that I use.