Picture the following scenario. A classroom full of students that have just returned from their much too short break. Their energy reserve – around 80%. Their mindset: better things to be done than listening to “just another humdrum lesson”. How do you deal with this situation without any nervous breakdown and with your students having picked up the essential? The answer – with the Almighty Lesson Plan – because failing to plan is planning to fail. Here are some tips to consider in order to create an effective lesson plan:
Lesson plan tip I: Know your students and touch up your content
The trick to have your lesson plan as effective as can be is to know the audience you are delivering it to – your students. Starting from their attention spans and prior knowledge up to interest levels and learning preferences – they all differ. Leverage all this and personalize your lesson plan by having them answer a survey before the lesson. That way you can find out about their special learning needs, ability levels and many other things that could make them become more engaged.
Moving on to the content you’re about to share. Yes, there are the curriculum guides and the national standards that you have to regard and integrate. But there’s so much more than that. Do your research and pile together all sorts of inspiration resources that can make your examples more relevant and attractive. We’ll come back to that further in this article.
Lesson plan tip II: Outline clear objectives & dynamic activities
To start this off you can use a lesson plan template to get you going. Once you have the format you can start defining what you want your students to learn based on the state standards and their overall feedback given at the beginning of the lesson. Set general goals followed by specific objectives then step by step procedures. That way, you’ll know for certain that you’ll keep on track.
Back to activities, make sure that you help your students reach the desired learning outcomes by offering them enriching experiences. Think outside the classical book examples and engage them good – team games, flash cards, field trips or why not bring a guest speaker to address the class. While planning for the classroom activities you should definitely use tools that make the process even better. Evernote is one must have tool for that matter. Check out our Evernote integration and take full advantage.
Lesson plan tip III: Choose wisely your lesson delivery approach
At this point you could take the easy way round: Dear students, here’s what you need to know about this topic – insert babble here. Or you could add some color to it. Using just one method for lesson delivery will surely lead to bored students. When you set your lesson plan try to combine your lecture with classroom debate or small group discussion – find out what learning style your students have and address them all. Some warm up session could prove efficient.
And now, time to see how all went – because you want to measure how well your students assessed new data. You can start with independent practice or go for in-class activities. If you want to create a friendly in-class competition why not try out some education quizzes? Another popular assessment method is “Minute Papers”, through which students reflect at the end of the class by answering question like – “What was the most important thing you learned today?”, “What was the most confusing topic today?”, “What important question remains unanswered?”.
In order to determine how well students progress toward the objectives, you could keep a log of how the lesson unfolded. That’s also a good way to pinpoint where you may need to make changes to improve the lesson’s effectiveness.
With all these being set down and without further ado, go ahead – plan your work and work your plan!