11th August 2020
Starting a new role in September? There’s so much to think about and plan that it could become overwhelming for newer teachers – don’t panic! Our beginners’ guides are here to help. This is the second in a series of guides for newly qualified teachers (or those looking to brush up for the new term!). You can read the first, Beginners’ Guide To Classroom Decoration here!
Lesson planning is one of the most important skills that teachers will learn during their teacher training period. A solid lesson plan keeps lessons focused and organised and an effective plan should make for a more effective lesson.
A decent lesson plan has benefits for both your students and you – it keeps the lesson focused and makes the most of everyone’s in-class time. Enthusing students on the subject matter and help them to retain the information given is the key goal! The lesson plan should contain enough detail so that a substitute teacher could teach the lesson to your students in your absence and have a similarly successful outcome. You may also have the opportunity to receive feedback on your lesson plans from your mentor during your training!
Basic lesson plans should at least cover your anticipated result for the three main areas of your lesson.
The ‘before’ element of your lesson plan should encompass the learning objectives, activities planned and ways to extend the lesson or offer additional support to pupils that may require it.
Objective – This should detail what you anticipate the learning outcome for the class will be. What will they be able to do after your lesson?
Timings – How will you deliver the information and instructions? Lesson plans usually include a rough timeline – make sure to leave room for pupils who may need extra time
Resources – What materials or equipment will you require, both for yourself and for your pupils
Differentiation – How will you ensure that all pupils are able to keep up with the work? What about those who finish tasks early? It can help to have an extension activity planned just in case!
Here are some fun lesson ideas from our Pinterest board!
The main body of a lesson plan details how the lesson will be delivered – this is where it’s important to take the individual learning needs of the class into consiration – a more rowdy class may need more time to settle down, or a wind-down activity built into the timings.
How will you break the lesson down?
Dependant on what year you are teaching, this may vary! In primary school, lesson plans tend to cover three-hour lessons, whilst in secondary education, your lesson plans may need to cover just 50 mins.
What groupings will you use?
Does the work required need to be done individually and therefore quietly? Or are you planning noisy group activities? If so, it helps to build individual wind-down time into your schedule too.
If you are looking for some fun ideas for learning activities, our Pinterest board is a great place to start!
The last section lays down how you will review the success of the lesson. Most individual lessons don’t encompass a test to ensure pupils have full comprehension.
How will you end the lesson, wrap up activities or ensure that students have retained enough of the information to move on to another task?
Assessing your pupils should be an ongoing concern – but ensuring that they have taken in as much as possible from your well-planned lesson can be hard to judge! Teaching students to assess and reflect on their own work is also an important part of their learning experience. You might try asking them to write a short summary of what they have learnt, or make it into a fun activity by getting them to quiz each other.
When planning lessons, try to spot places in your teaching where a misunderstanding could arise and make sure you are on the lookout for it. Address common mistakes on your subject during your teaching so that pupils know what to look out for in their own comprehension. It’s easy to spot when one pupil isn’t engaged, they might be disruptive, or staring into the distance.
Keep an eye on The Reading Corner for our next Beginners’ Guide!
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