A lesson to be successful should begin with a plan. It’s the baseline of dedicated teaching. And lesson planning is one of the major responsibilities of teachers. Whether seasoned or new, a teacher has to be adept in making and executing lesson plans.
Teaching is huge! And it should begin with a plan.
In my previous post, we talked about how to craft lesson plans easily. Since lesson planning is an important preliminary for teachers, we’ll delve into it one more time. It’s an essential task of teachers to achieve greater results.
Having made your lesson plan, you are now ready for its execution. An important question arises. How do you know if your lesson plan was effective?
Such a crucial question. Particularly, it bothers new teachers. Therefore, I’d like to share the best characteristics of an effective lesson plan. You need them to figure out if your lesson plan was effective.
Moreover, creating effective lesson plans to create meaningful learning experiences is one of the principles of highly effective teachers.
It’s always best to evaluate your lesson plan to see if your teaching strategies have engaged your students and have increased their performance.
Looking for a teacher planner? Check out our list of the best planners for teachers to help you get well organized.
How do you know if your lesson plan was effective?
7 Best Characteristics of an Effective Lesson Plan
A good lesson plan requires efficient teacher preparation and effective execution. It’s the backbone of a well-planned lesson. Moreover, a great teacher always prepares his or her daily lesson to certainly maximize student engagement.
Also, an effective lesson plan gives the teacher a clear trajectory towards enhancing student performance levels.
The following characteristics of an effective lesson plan are fine assessments if your lesson plan helps to make student learning productive.
1. Aims to develop life and behavioral skills
The learning objectives stated in the lesson plan provide the framework of what the students are expected to learn in a certain lesson. Basically, teachers follow the KSA category (Knowledge, Skills, Attitude) while using Bloom’s Taxonomy as a guide in crafting the learning goals. It typifies cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning objectives.
An effective lesson plan dishes out learning competencies that cater to both long-term and short-term goals. Hence, as teachers, we should plan our lessons sincerely to translate the curriculum effectively. Similarly, we should know what verbs to use in stating the learning objectives respectively. Hence, we should have the list of these verbs ready on our table or in our planner.
The learning objectives, we present in a lesson give us balanced and tailored-fit activities to meet students’ learning differences. As we know, an effective lesson plan provides a logical way of developing life and behavioral skills. It demonstrates clearly if our teaching practices ensure that our students learn life skills while amplifying acceptable behavior.
In other words, an effective lesson plan promotes both academic and social-emotional skills.
Tip#1: Write in your teacher planner the daily learning goals and tasks. It can keep you more organized and on track. Although I am preparing my lesson plans daily, I usually make a weekly plan of activities following the budget of work or learning objectives expected to be covered. Also, this can make my teacher planner more functional.
2. Accommodates varied learning styles
As you plan for student learning, you should be more organized in providing specific activities that meet multiple intelligences or learning styles. Planning your lessons very well enables you to give your students choices in the classroom. They should be given options that will definitely meet their varied learning styles.
Even though you have a small group class, you should expect that you will be dealing with varied learning styles. For this matter, I specify in my lesson plan the materials and manipulatives to use to meet students’ varied learning styles.
Notably, some students learn best with visuals like diagrams, pictures, video lessons, and demonstrations. Meanwhile, others might prefer listening to audio lessons or have an auditory learning style. Conversely, others might prefer experimenting or hands-on experiences.
An effective lesson plan ensures the accommodation of varied learning styles. Hence, differentiated instructions should be very evident in your plan. You can plan for role-playing, poetry recitals, watching educational videos to make analyses, and many more.
In my lesson plan, I usually plot varied activities for each group of my students while guaranteeing that all groups hone the same learning objectives at a specified period of time.
To facilitate the varied learning activities, I intentionally identified the learning styles of my students at the beginning of the school year so I am guided on what activities to incorporate. This gives me the opportunity to get to know my students and to manage different learning activities effectively. This requires a lot of work and enormous efforts but the result is fulfilling and worthwhile.
Tip#2: As I create small groups in my classroom, I usually use the profiling of my students where their learning styles are indicated. I made a list and wrote it manually on my unused planner. For sure, you can do it too. You can repurpose your old planner by turning it into a list notebook.
3. Promotes well-organized discussions
As a result of a well-crafted lesson plan, you are guided very well on how to carry out the lesson objectives and make students participate in the discussion.
Even though you have been in the profession for a decade you still need to make a lesson plan. You definitely need a guide.
An effective lesson plan tells you what to do to motivate the students to learn a new lesson or to reinforce a learned concept. It’s about how you should go about on a certain period where students are active participants of learning.
The more students interact with one another, the more interesting is the discussion. Simple question-and-answer activities add to the ingredients of making learning interactive and productive.
As a classroom teacher for years now, I have gained amazing teaching experience and practices that encourage students to tune in and become active learners. Amazingly, I learned from my colleagues and from my first-hand classroom teaching experiences.
Interactive discussions can happen continually if you make a conscious effort of making your lesson plan practicable.
Tip#3: You can create your to-do list in your teacher planner. How do you organize and facilitate classroom discussions? Sustaining an interactive and lively discussion is quite challenging. But with effective planning, things can turn out fine.
I indicated in my to-do list the catchy title of the small group discussion. I will also write the questions or topics to be assigned for each group.
4. Increases student performance
Practically, when a lesson is individualized, students’ learning needs are recognized and met. That is why lesson planning is never an optional task. It’s more than required.
As it gives structure to your lesson, you are guided very well on how to improve student participation. It keeps your learning activities aligned with your specific learning objectives.
However, it should not be haphazardly done or just for the sake of compliance. This is a clear guide for teachers to help students move through with content and curriculum by increasing their performance.
Relevant learning activities should be clearly indicated in your lesson plan with the corresponding rubric so you know how to assess their performance most effectively.
5. Improves assessment results
Both formative and summative assessments play important roles in student learning. As you develop assessments such as short quizzes and summative tests you need to consider the congruency of the test items to the learning goals to ensure that you are hitting your targets.
Formative assessments, for example, give you the best opportunity for corrective instruction. It can be given at the beginning, middle, or end of your instruction so you can check students’ understanding of the lesson.
Therefore, apparently, it should be indicated in your lesson to further demonstrate the student’s mastery of the lesson. Furthermore, the results can be the basis of modifying or improving your teaching strategies.
The quizzes and tests you give to your students can be multiple-choice tests, identification, matching type, or essay writing. For as long as you can best interpret the results, you can adjust your instructional activities or your approach to more individualized learning.
6. Integrates technology
Using technology to facilitate student learning should be included in the lesson plan.
Incorporating the sensible use of smartphones, desktop computers, projectors, Bluetooth speakers, laptops, and many other tech gadgets helps create meaningful learning experiences in the classroom.
You should be certain on which part of the lesson are you going to present your PowerPoint presentation or when are you allowing your students to use their tablets for collaborative tasks.
The presence of technological devices in the classroom should be part of the big plan for student learning. Also, the utilization of technology in the classroom is an excellent way of increasing student engagement.
Thus, for your lesson plan to be effective, you should not forget technology integration. Using online educational games and apps like Kahoot, Quizizz, Padlet, etc. can make a difference in students’ motivation, participation, and growth.
7. Promotes collaborative learning
Learning is more meaningful if it’s collaborative. Thus, collaborative and interactive tasks should be integrated into your lesson plan.
There should be a certain part of the lesson plan where students work in groups or in pairs.
In other words, your lesson plan should be crafted for student collaboration. You should provide them opportunities to interact, to learn by doing, and to communicate with others.
Most practically, if your classroom is learner-centered, I’m sure you are writing lesson plans that magnify student collaboration. Allow them to work in small groups or in teams. They should learn from one another.
The implementation of collaborative tasks in student learning provides enriching opportunities for students to present their views and participate.
Even the timidest type of student in the classroom will be given the best chance to perform if you provide learning activities that meet their unique needs.
This teaching strategy doesn’t only foster good relationships in the classroom but also improves students’ self-esteem.
Along with the proper integration of technology in learning, using collaborative learning tasks create opportunities for all learners. This is to ensure that even the reluctant and shy ones participate and be at their best.
Watch this video to get additional tips on structuring an effective lesson plan.
To ensure your lesson plan’s maximum effectiveness, you need to take note of the foregoing best characteristics of an effective lesson plan. It keeps you organized and in close deal with your teaching and learning goals.
Moreover, your effective lesson plan and best teaching expertise will work together to demonstrate teaching and learning goals. Your plan and your best teaching practices from a common bond to increase student engagement and to make the learning environment productive.
Moreover, meeting specific learning goals and expectations is best carried out if you first and foremost make a plan. You should not miss the boat for productive student learning.
If it requires you to study the curriculum, then do it. It takes hard work, I know. And don’t extract your commitment because it fuels your expertise. Let me hear your thoughts on effective lesson planning. Share your pieces in the comment section below.