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What is a lesson plan

A lesson plan is a teacher's detailed description of the course of instruction for an individual lesson. A daily lesson plan is developed by a teacher to guide class instruction. Planning the material is much more difficult than delivering the lessons. Planning is when you look at the curriculum standards and develop the content that match those standards you also have to take into consideration the needs of the children you are planning for. Luckily, textbooks that are adopted for your subject areas are typically written with this in mind. All details should be written down to assist the smooth delivery of the content. The extent of the detail will vary depending on the number of years of experience that the teacher has and the number of times he/she has taught the lesson. Obviously, an instructor with several years of experience may have plans that are much less detailed than beginning teachers. There will be requirements mandated by the school system that employs you regarding your responsibilities.

Developing a lesson plan

While there are many formats for a lesson plan, most lesson plans contain some or all of these elements, typically in this order:

  • Title of the lesson
  • Time required to complete the lesson
  • List of required materials
  • List of objectives, which may be behavioral objectives (what the student can do at lesson completion) or knowledge objectives (what the student knows at lesson completion)
  • The set (or lead-in, or bridge-in) that focuses students on the lesson's skills or concepts—these include showing pictures or models, asking leading questions, or reviewing previously lessons
  • An instructional component that describes the sequence of events that make up the lesson, including the teacher's instructional input and guided practice the students use to try new skills or work with new ideas
  • Independent practice that allows students to extend skills or knowledge on their own
  • A summary, where the teacher wraps up the discussion and answers questions
  • An evaluation component, a test for mastery of the instructed skills or concepts—such as a set of questions to answer or a set of instructions to follow
  • Analysis component the teacher uses to reflect on the lesson itself —such as what worked, what needs improving
  • A continuity component reviews and reflects on content from the previous lesson[1]

A well developed lesson plan

A well developed lesson plan reflects interests and needs of students. It incorporates best practices for the educational field. The lesson plan correlates with the teacher's philosophy of education, which is what the teacher feels is the purpose of educating the students.[2]

Secondary English program lesson plans, for example, usually center around four topics. They are literary theme, elements of language and composition, literary history, and literary genre. A broad, thematic lesson plan is preferable, because it allows a teacher to create various research, writing, speaking, and reading assignments. It helps an instructor teach different literature genres and incorporate videotapes, films, and television programs. Also, it facilitates teaching literature and English together.[2] School requirements and a teacher's personal tastes, in that order, determine the exact requirements for a lesson plan.

Unit plans follow much the same format as a lesson plan, but cover an entire unit of work, which may span several days or weeks. Modern constructivist teaching styles may not require individual lesson plans. The unit plan may include specific objectives and timelines, but lesson plans can be more fluid as they adapt to student needs and learning styles.

Setting an objective

The first thing a teacher must do is decide on the lesson plan's focus. The teacher creates one idea or question they want the students to explore or answer. Next, the teacher creates classroom activities that correlate with the established idea or question. This includes individual and group activities. Having established these activities, the teacher identify what language arts skills the lesson plan must cover. After the teacher completes these activities, they must ensure the lesson plan adheres to the best practices used in language arts. This includes conducting research on what teaching methods result in a high success rate for students. The teacher must ensure the lesson plan goals are compatible with the developmental level of the students. The teacher must also ensure their student achievement expectations are reasonable.[2]

Selecting lesson plan material

A lesson plan must correlate with the text book the class uses. The school usually selects the text books or provides teachers with a limited text book choice for a particular unit. The teacher must take great care and select the most appropriate book for the students.[2]

Types of Assignments

The instructor must decide whether class assignments are whole-class, small groups, workshops, independent work, peer learning, or contractual:

  • Whole-class—the teacher lectures to the class as a whole and has the class collectively participate in classroom discussions.
  • Small groups—students work on assignments in groups of three or four.
  • Workshops—students perform various tasks simultaneously. Workshop activities must be tailored to the lesson plan.
  • Independent work—students complete assignments individually.
  • Peer learning—students work together, face to face, so they can learn from one another.

Contractual work—teacher and student establish an agreement that the student must perform a certain amount of work by a deadline.[2]

Testing

The teacher must decide how to evaluate each student's performance.[2]

Summative Assessment Summative assessment evaluates learning needs. It usually consists of tests, semester exams, end of unit or end of chapter tests that evaluate student progress, performance, and knowledge. The teacher calculates final grades based upon performance in these exams. These assessments may help teachers adjust future curriculum, based upon how well the students retain information.[3]

Formative Assessment Formative assessment evaluates the process of learning in its process, and is a part of the teaching process. Teachers use formative assessment to discover holes and modify their teaching and the learning of their students. In contrast to end-of-unit adjustments in a summative assessment program, formative assessment recognizes student needs in the course of learning. This approach lets educators adjust learning standards right away. By knowing each student's current needs, including those with lower abilities, a teacher can address them immediately. Teachers use formative assessment information to modify teaching and learning activities to improve learning results.[3]

Reliability of classroom assessment

Classroom assessment reliability is controversial. Teachers have different grading and evaluating standards. Some emphasize the amount of work, while others value quality. Formative and summative assessment procedures should be equally applied in the classroom. However, it seems the modern education system (see NCLB) puts more stress on summative assessment, and evaluates student performance mainly with exams. Summative assessments are easy, and provide an objective picture of the students’ skills and knowledge. However, applying classroom formative assessments more often provides current information about students’ learning needs.[3]

Evaluate the lesson plan

As mentioned above, a teacher must use best practices to ensure their students have a high success rate. Traditional methods of assessment may be used (quizzes and tests). This is also a time of reflection for the teacher. The student must learn from the lesson, as should the teacher. Find out what areas of the lesson didn't work as smoothly as projected and make adjustments.

Areas to Evaluate:

  • Materials
  • Content
  • Engaging and Interactive
  • Creativity
  • Extension
  • Presentation Skills

[2]

Unit of Instruction

A unit of instruction or "unit" is a collection of lesson plans all pertaining to the same topic. For example in a computer applications class a teacher could build all lessons dealing with Wordprocessor into a unit plan.

Lesson Plan as a Component of a Unit Plan

A unit plan is a series of lessons organized around a single theme, topic, or mode. The unit plan should provide the teacher with a concise overview of the unit, including information about art works, art materials, and special preparations that need to be considered. The unit should be organized to emphasize sequences of learning activities. [4]

Beyond Test Answers

Plan a cumulative lesson or activity to get students to higher levels of thinking. Often when creating units of instruction and individual lesson plans, we forget to assign a project that is hands on for the students. While it is important for students to know the definitions of terms, it is even more important for them to be able to use the information they have learned. Creating a unit on Investing and an individual lesson plan on the stock market is good, but integrating a stock market game for the entire unit of instruction is more valuable to the students and helps them understand the stock market at an application level.

A Computer Applications Unit Plan

This Unit Plan should be centered around a single topic (i.e. MS Word, MS Excel, MS Power Point, MS Access) and it will more than likely cover multiple weeks and be composed of multiple lesson plans. Student achievement should be clear and upfront. For instance, it is recommended that you put a daily objective on the white board everyday so that the students understand exactly what is expected for that day. It is also highly recommended that project based learning be utilized instead of using the textbook always. Students enjoy doing projects versus using textbooks and projects normally always keep the students engaged longer.

Student Outcome

Students will demonstrate knowledge of Spreadsheet by completing multiple practice assignments, answering short answer questions on quizzes and finally passing an Spreadsheet test with at least 80% accuracy.

Length of Unit

You will need to take some time and plan out how much time can be devoted to a unit. For example, in a nine month school year there are approximately 36 weeks. Make a list of the units you want to cover over that time period. From there break down how many days or weeks can be spent on each unit.

Definition of Unit of Instruction

The Plan of Instruction should contain everything which is pertinent to the specified course as it relates to the instructional needs of the student and the teacher. The plan should clearly describe who this course is for, how it is to be implemented, what is to be taught, and how satisfactory student performance is to be determined. The plan should be written with sufficient detail to enable a qualified reader to understand the intent of the writer.[5]

Unit Goals

Unit goals determine purpose, aim, and rationale for what you and your students will engage in during class. This section should be used to express the intermediate lesson goals that draw upon previous plans and activities and set the stage by preparing students for future activities and further knowledge acquisition. The goals are generally written as broad educational goals adhering to State or national curriculum standards. Many schools will also require that goals be simplified to a student friendly format. To begin, ask three basic questions: Where are your students going? How are they going to get there? How will you know when they've arrived? [6]

UNIT THEME

A thematic approach is a way of choosing an overarching or unifying idea revealing many aspects of related concepts, events, or situations. A theme is much broader than a topic, and use of themes in curriculum design allows students to make rich connections among a variety of disciplines. A topical approach is a way of organizing information regarding particular subject matter, and is narrower in focus. The following are all topical in approach rather than thematic: Elements and principles of design; Art modes and media; Periods of western art history; Art from various culture or eras; Aesthetics topics; Landmark art works or individual artists; Functions of art. [7]

Sample Unit Plan: Personal Financial Decisions

Lesson 1: Evaluate current position. Goal: Determine current financial assets and liabilities
Lesson 2: Set goals. Goals: 1) Establish short-term financial goals. 2) Establish long-term financial goals.
Lesson 3: Create a plan. Goal: Create a plan for accomplishing goals.
Lesson 4: Evaluate. Goals: 1) Evaluate effectiveness of plan in accomplishing goals. 2)Adjust plan as needed to better accomplish goals.

Examples of Units of Instruction

This unit plan of instruction example for a business law class:

Business Law Unit 3 Plan The Law of Sales

Teacher:

Unit Goals/Objectives: Students will: 1. Define sale and explain how the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) governs the sale of goods. 2. Explain how the UCC treats unconscionable contracts and contracts of adhesion. 3. Compare the status of a casual seller with a merchant. 4. Explain how the Statute of Frauds is applied to sales. 5. Discuss who may transfer ownership of goods. 6. Explain requirements for ownership transfer. 7. Explain the general rules for identifying when risk of loss transfers. 8. Identify the point at which insurable interest of goods transfers. 9. Identify when risk of loss and insurable interest transfer in specific situations. 10. Explain the need for governmental involvement in the marketplace. 11. Identify protections against substandard goods. 12. Recognize unfair trade practices. 13. Identify the various warranties that may apply to a sales transaction. [8]

National / State Standards:

Section 2- Level 2 • Define goods and distinguish them from services and real property Section 2- Level 3 • Explain when to apply the law of sales and leases of goods under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) • Give examples of special rules that apply to sales contracts that do not apply to other contracts • Clarify when sales contracts must be in writing and state the exceptions • Judge whether a particular writing meets the requirements of the UCC for the sale of goods • Compare an auction with reserve with an auction without reserve Section 2- Level 4 • Explain when title and risk of loss pass in a sale of goods • Relate how express warranties, implied warranties, and the warranty of title arise, and describe how each of the warranties may be excluded or modified • Describe when the statute of limitations usually begins and ends in a sales transaction • State when a contract for the sale of goods must be evidenced in writing • List and define the performance obligations of the seller and buyer in a typical sales transaction and define the terms F.O.B., F.A.S., C.I.F., C.F., and C. & F. and state the legal consequences of using them

Competency Profile Competencies Covered: • Differentiate among the ways that assent can be disrupted, such as fraud, nondisclosure, misrepresentation, mistake, duress, and undue influence,3 • Explain the various rules applied to contracts involving third parties,3 • Discuss consumer protection legislation, such as the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, and the Consumer Leasing Act,3 • Describe the various rules applied to the interpretation of contracts,3

Unit Lessons:

1. Sales Contracts a. Sales 1. What is a Sale? b. Special rules for sales contracts 1. Rules for merchants 2. Statute of Frauds

2. Ownership and Risk of Loss in Sales a. Transfer of Ownership 1. Who transfers ownership? 2. Requirements b. Risk of Loss and Insurable Interest in Sales 1. When does risk of loss transfer? 2. When does insurable interest transfer? 3. Rights and risks in specific sales

3. Consumer Protection a. Protection through Governmental Action 1. Inferior services and goods 2. Unfair trade practices b. Protection through Action by the Consumer 1. Product liability 2. Warranties [8]

Materials/ Resources/ Supplies Needed for Unit: • Computers/computer equipment/ Internet • Guest speaker (business owner in community) • Sample Contracts • Textbook • Newspaper articles/ Case studies • Documents for assignments and handouts • Documents for exams • Rubric and grading scales

Two Outside Resources- Guest speaker and Sample Contract Documents - I want to bring in a local business owner to show how sales contracts work in the community. I will prep him/her on what we have been talking about so they can talk about how this unit relates to their work. Terms and topics that will be discussed are: sales, ownership, price, goods, use of credit, payment and delivery, acceptance of goods, merchant, transfer of ownership, sales on credit, warranties, bait and switch, and liability. - I also want to show the kids what contracts look like. They come in many variations. I found one way at http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/business-forms-contracts/be8_9_1.html. I will ask our guest speaker to bring in any documents he/she uses as well. The students can see what the terms and obligations of a sale will include and what to look for when purchasing a product.

FBLA Integration: • FBLA has a competitive event called Business Law, which involves a one hour test. The test covers 13 competencies. This unit covers some of those competencies, including contracts, sales, consumer protection, and product and personal liability. To help prepare students for this test, I could give them a timed test, which would include questions covered throughout the course that relate to the FBLA event. This will give them an idea on what to expect when they participate in this event.

• Under business award is Activity 13, which is visiting and touring a business. I could set up a time for the class or a student to take a trip to a hardware or appliance store to see how the business is operated. Since this is a unit over sales contracts, the manager could show and talk about how they make sales transactions and sell their products. We could be able to see what forms they use and the terms and obligations they follow. Warranties are probably included with hardware and appliances, so we could ask about their policies towards them. Return policies can also be discussed.

Unit Evaluation/ Reflection/Comments: • Students will take formative and summative assessments for the unit plan. After the unit is completed, I will make notes of what worked well and what could be improved. Each lesson will be evaluated individually as well.

Recommended reading

  • Ahrenfelt, Johannes, and Neal Watkin. 100 Ideas for Essential Teaching Skills (Continuum One Hundred). New York: Continuum, 2006.
  • Carey, Lou, and Walter Dick. The Systematic Design of Instruction. Tampa: Harper Collins, 1990.
  • Gagne, Robert M., Leslie J. Briggs, and Walter W. Wagner. Principles of Instructional Design. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College, 1992.
  • Ryan, Mark, and Peter Serdyukov. Writing Effective Lesson Plans: The 5-Star Approach. Boston: Allyn &Amp; Bacon, 2007.
  • Salsbury, Denise E., and Melinda Schoenfeldt. Lesson Planning: A Research-Based Model for K-12 Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Prentice Hall, 2008.
  • Skowron, Janice. Powerful Lesson Planning: Every Teachers Guide to Effective Instruction. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2006.
  • Thompson, Julia G. First Year Teacher's Survival Guide: Ready-To-Use Strategies, Tools & Activities For Meeting The Challenges Of Each School Day (J-B Ed:Survival Guides). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007.
  • Tileston, Donna E. Walker. What Every Teacher Should Know About Instructional Planning Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2003.
  • Wolfe, Shoshana. Your Best Year Yet! A Guide to Purposeful Planning and Effective Classroom Organization (Teaching Strategies). New York: Teaching Strategies, 2006.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Writing Lesson Plans." Huntington University: a Christian college ranked among America's best colleges. 15 Mar. 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mitchell, Diana, and Stephen Tchudi, Exploring and Teaching the English Language Arts (4th Ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1999.
  3. ^ a b c "Formative and Summative Assessment in the Classroom", National Middle School Association - Helping You Achieve Successful Schools for Young Adolescents . 15 Mar. 2009.
  4. ^ Hurwitz, A. & Day, M. (2007). Children and their art: Methods for the elementary school. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Pp. 356-358
  5. ^ http://wed.siu.edu/Public1/Courses/460/files/Plan_Instruction_Guidelines.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.eduref.org/Virtual/Lessons/Guide.shtml
  7. ^ Hurwitz, A. & Day, M. (2007). Children and their art: Methods for the elementary school. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Pp. 356-358 and also discussed in the unpublished Prairie Visions Institute Participant Notebook, 1999
  8. ^ a b Law for Business and Personal Use, Thomson South-Western. Adamson. 2006.

Units of instruction

Marketing class examples unit of instruction Students will describe, assess, and demonstrate how consumers’ attitudes and emotions play a part in market. Students will develop and explain the purpose of a sales and distribution plan. Students will assess how distribution methods are to be used. Students will develop a pricing strategy for their company. In demonstrating the analysis, students will formulate fixed and variable costs and ROI they are predicting. Students will be designated a company from the instructor. Students will examine, list, and evaluate the products or services their company provides. Students will create, compare, and contrast marketing strategies to assess their effectiveness. Students will show how these strategies relate to each other in today’s economy. Students will be provided a company from the instructor to accomplish this task.


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