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Lesson Plans - Key Ideas to Remember
Here are the MAIN POINTS you should remember about lesson plans:
- Lesson plans include several key components. If parts are missing, the lesson does not flow and may be difficult for your students to understand.
- Standards are what the state says students should know at a particular grade level. In North Carolina, these are currently the CCSS ELA, CCSS Math, and NC Essential Standards. Even though we know that a lesson may cover a lot of ground, you shouldn't have more than 2-3 as a focus per lesson.
- Objectives are the measurable outcomes of a lesson. These are often in the form of "I can" and "The learner will be able to" (or TLWBAT) statements. The best objectives are also quantifiable - meaning a percentage or level of mastery is attached (such as most of the time, 9 out of 10 times, with adult support, etc.). Objectives stem from standards, and should be evident throughout each part of your plan.
- Most lessons (except discovery/inquiry lessons) include Input and Modeling by the teacher. This means you teach students what the concept is, and show them how to do it or what it looks like. Your input and modeling should always match your standards and objectives.
- After you have taught and modeled, you should engage in Guided Practice. This means that you do a few samples together, to make sure everyone understands. In fact, Checks for Understanding are appropriate during and after guided practice!
- Independent Practice means the students are working (or attempting to work) without your guidance. You've shown them, you've explained it, you've done 3-4 examples together, and now it's their turn to try. Independent doesn't necessarily mean by themselves; it just means without YOU guiding them through every step. It can be individual, in pairs, or even in groups. You interject yourself into independent practice when you see misconceptions or challenges that warrant your attention. Also, independent practice does not equal worksheets or homework (although those are options). Learning centers are also independent practice. So is group work/project work. During independent practice, you continue to monitor students as mentioned above to make sure that everyone understands and is on the road to mastery.
- Assessment is part of every lesson. However, it is not always a test or quiz or written document. Sometimes, it's informal and based on kid-watching. Did the class learn what you set out to teach? Who did? Who didn't? Who needs more time on this concept? This goes back to your standards and objectives. NOTE: Your assessment should not introduce a new concept that was not the focus of the lesson. Go back to your I Can or TLWBAT statements. Those can easily be turned into a rubric or checklist - and that's all you need for the lesson. Assessment also does not have to be comprehensive, unless it is a summative assessment (i.e., at the end of a learning unit). Be sure you know the difference between a rubric and a checklist.
- Every lesson needs Closure. This doesn't mean closing the textbook or telling the students to get ready for lunch. Think of closure as a recap of what was learned, why it was important, and how it connects to known/new learning. Instead of TELLING the class this information, make them responsible for the closure component. Have a quick set of questions (go back to your objectives!) that students should be able to answer. Consider using Exit Tickets and other "every pupil response" methods as part of your closure.
"I Can" Statements
Explore “I Can” statements that have already been developed by educators. Find the ones that relate to your standard.
"I Can" Statements
More I Can statements.
CCSS + "I Can" Statements
Common Core State Standards by grade level, with "I Can" statements and a very basic leveled rubric system:
3 - I've got it!
2 - I'm working on it.
1 - Not yet.
Lesson Plan Templates
Literacy Lesson Plan Structure
The Madeline Hunter framework for lesson plans works very well for math, science, social studies, etc. However, some lessons for literacy and language arts may look a little different. When developing these lesson plans, consider this format.
NCCU edTPA Lesson Plan Template
Use this template to create your official edTPA plans. Max 4 pages per plan. The Appendix should be separated out for official submission.
Children's Dictionaries (online)
For ideas on planned supports/instructional supports, see page 14 of the edTPA Making Good Choices (edTPAMGC) doc.