What is a Lesson Plan?

One of the biggest tools that a teacher has is his or her lesson plan. These plans are especially important for recent graduates and new teachers. The information that you have on a piece of paper in front of you helps keep you on track and ensures that you remember to cover everything you wanted to cover. You usually need one plan for each class that you teach, but you can use the same plan when teaching the same subject to several groups of the same age. A good plan should include several key components.

Parts of a Good Plan

Before you grab a pen and start writing, you must look at the parts a good plan has. You should first look at the topic or subject and then what your students need before deciding what to cover. Make sure that you include enough information that your students will actually learn something that day but not so much information that it overwhelms them. The plan should include a list of things you need for the lesson, a list of what you want your students to get out of that lesson, notes about anything you want to cover and a conclusion that you’ll use to sum up the lesson. You may want to include time for students to ask questions or time for a short discussion about the topic.

Using a Template

Coming up with a brand new plan from scratch may overwhelm you, which is why many teachers now use templates. There are a number of great websites that offer free resources like templates for teachers. You simply pick the age of your students and the topic you want to each. This will bring up a list of templates suitable for your next class. You can use one as-is or customize the template to better fit your class.

Reasons for a Plan

The biggest reason why teachers use these plans is because it helps keep them on track. When you start talking about a topic without notes in front of you, you risk going off track and talking about topics further ahead in the book. You may find that you have a difficult time keeping the focus of your students too. When you add the right sections to your plan, you can also foster discussions in your classroom and help students learn from each other too.

Tips on Creating New Plans

Not all teachers use templates, but if you need help creating a new lesson plan, you might pick up some tips from teachers with more experience. Bonnie P. Murray, who is an elementary school teacher, recommends running through each plan and timing yourself to make sure that your lesson will fit within the allotted time. She also suggests working on next week’s plans on Thursday of the previous week, which will help you keep your weekends free. This also lets you see where your students are and whether you need to go over previous information or if they are up to date.

Whether you work with older or younger children, you need to plan each lesson and class you teach in advance. A lesson plan acts as a guide to help you cover all the information you want to cover and to customize each lesson based on the ages and skills of your students.

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