Lesson plans have a very important role in the teaching and learning process. As a teacher for years, I have learned to love it more. And, writing my daily lesson plans has become a very important part of my routines. But how do you make a lesson plan easier?
Newbies in the profession might find lesson planning very challenging at first, but with their commitment and dedication, they will certainly fall in love with lesson planning.
Also, thoughtfully prepared lesson plans help teachers meet the individual learning needs of students. Hence, lesson plans are essential. They give you the best guide to create successful instructional experiences.
You can’t just skip it. However, you can write lesson plans facilely.
But take note: Lesson plans don’t define teachers. Their passion and commitment do. However, effective teaching begins with a good lesson plan.
Your plan guides you in the ultimate execution of learning instruction. This ensures that your students are motivated and engaged to learn.
Crafting the best lesson plans should not be hard. It should be one of the most fulfilling tasks you will do before you execute your lessons and create meaningful learning experiences with your students.
So, to give you inspiration, here are some awesome tips to make lesson planning easier.
Looking for a teacher planner? Check out our list of the best planners for teachers to help you get well organized.
What is a good lesson plan?
A good lesson plan facilitates the teaching and learning process. It serves as a blueprint for teachers.
During the first year of my teaching life, I really found lesson planning hard and overwhelming which made me create the impression that I was in a very demanding profession.
But, as soon as I realized that the teaching and learning process should be made learner-centered and that students had diverse needs that needed to be addressed, I put a value on making a plan.
Having great respect for the needs of my students, I feel empowered to create a learning environment that best supports authentic and individualized learning. I just have to make the process more personalized and I included it in my plan.
A good lesson plan makes a teacher confident in front of the students. Being well-prepared, a teacher knows exactly how to carry out the learning objectives.
The lesson plan serves as the Bible for teachers. Precisely, it tells what the students should master in a certain learning session and in what strategies they learn best.
Hence, for me, it should be prepared daily. This is my point and I really find it powerful and effective. And, it goes well on my end.
A good lesson plan contains a well-planned lesson. It helps students understand their learning goals and makes it clear to them what they need to accomplish.
Likewise, it gives you the best inputs on what is really possible in the learning environment.
A well-planned lesson means providing students interactive and collaborative learning activities that help them to be at their best.
Similarly, it offers quality assessments to empower students to hone their skills while making sensible connections with content.
A good lesson plan sustains effective student engagement. As teachers, we are always evaluated as to how we engage our students and how we help them increase their performance. It’s overwhelming, yet very fulfilling.
Student’s diverse learning needs are always the essential factor to consider to have more personalized learning experiences. In a sense, students are learning the same learning objectives in multiple ways.
Hence, the provision of varied activities in your lesson plan should be executed very well.
Just plainly, a plan should not remain only as a plan. Rather, it should prepare you to be more effective in engaging your students and making them empowered learners of the 21st century.
To effectively serve its purpose, a lesson plan should dish out the most appropriate teaching strategies and learning activities that help students maximize their learning time.
“A good lesson plan inspires teachers to never stop teaching and encourages students to never stop learning.”
How Do You Make a Lesson Plan Easier?
1. Identify the learning competency to be taught
Basically, lesson plan writing is about developing a learning competency or objective. Start from scratch. It’s the first step of lesson planning.
Determine the learning objectives that you want your students to learn. It all begins from there. It tells you what your students need to learn before you tap teaching strategies to best meet their needs.
Based on the broad competency, you break it down into specific learning objectives that follow the KSA categories; namely Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes. Amplifying Bloom’s taxonomy, it underscores the cognitive, psychomotor, and attitude domains that students are expected to develop.
2. Make an outline
An outline helps you manage your lesson plan. It helps you best to plan learning activities that ensure quality student learning.
For me, it’s really useful to make an outline in planning the lessons. Although others may think that making an outline gets a portion of your time, for me, it’s essential because it gives the basic structure of my lesson plan.
Making an outline by indicating the basic parts of the lesson plan that the school or district requires helps me balance the different activities for my students’ needs.
In particular, it guides my thoughts on how to deliver the lessons effectively and what to consider in order to successfully meet my students’ needs.
Essentially, by outlining the learning activities, I also try to figure out the learning materials and resources needed.
By doing so, I am best prepared on how to capture my students’ attention and to supplement the content to be more meaningful.
3. Think of the best motivational activity
After identifying the learning objectives, the next thing on my plate is how to give students the proper mindset so they can learn best the skills to be taught.
Motivating students needs our best efforts. Having a great lesson plan, of course, will not be enough if you are to create meaningful learning experiences with your students. They need to be participative and interactive at the most.
Therefore, you have to be well-versed in the current teaching strategies and motivational techniques.
Having them read the learning objectives and answer some rhetorical questions isn’t a manifestation that they are already motivated. They need to stand, they need to sing, they need to move.
In what way can I best motivate my students in this particular lesson content? Should I require them to form groups and make them do something? I always ask myself these questions.
4. Plan activities for differentiated instruction
One of the key components of the lesson plan is what learning activities to use to sustain student engagement throughout the learning session.
A great lesson plan always considers students’ individual learning needs. Hence, tailoring the varied learning activities should be observed. That’s why it’s very important to make a learning profile of your students at the beginning of the school year.
You should know the learning abilities or styles of your students in order to amplify differentiated instruction in the teaching and learning process. It could mean differentiating the level of difficulty or varying the activities.
In other words, visual learners should be performing tasks most fitting to them while not taking for granted tactile learners and others. Varying the process of learning, for example, is one great way of responding to students’ variance.
5. Make the assessment congruent with the learning objectives
It’s the most basic for successful lesson planning. Congruency matters a lot.
If, for example, in language, you are to develop in your students their skills in subject-verb agreement, your assessment should also be about identifying if the verb agrees with its subject in number. Isn’t it?
As to how it should be done, let your creativity and innovation work in making learning tasks collaborative.
The alignment of the learning objectives with the assessment is one of the important things you should consider when writing your lesson plan.
While our teaching pedagogies ensure that our students are learning the skills we want them to develop, the assessment should let us know how well the students master the learning objective and show what they have learned. That is why congruency is one important factor to look into.
With that, you can really chew on a bone if you have been successful with your instruction or if the plan has been implemented effectively.
Hence, the learning objectives and the assessment should strengthen each other and must also reinforce the learning activities.
6. Specify your resources and materials
One of the important intentions of lesson planning is for you to specify your needed learning resources and materials. They should amplify the learning objectives and strengthen your overall instruction.
To ensure that you will establish productive learning experiences with your students, you have to be ready with your instructional materials like PowerPoint presentations, video lessons, activity sheets, textbooks, and many others.
Your learning materials should help with your lesson delivery and should facilitate instruction. Hence, you should indicate them in your lesson plan.
Basically, you have to ascertain that the learning materials help students apply or extend what they have learned and developed in a particular learning session.
7. Create SMART learning objectives
What activities will you use to reinforce learning? Can they be done in the given allotted time or do your students need to bring them home?
A smart lesson plan carries out equally SMART learning objectives. In other words, learning objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
In particular, the learning objectives should specify:
What should the students develop and learn?
What will the students accomplish?
How do I know if the learning goals are met?
How will the students do it?
Can they do it?
Are the activities attainable within the time frame?
Why should it be done?
How does it impact student learning?
When will the students do it?
Is the time frame reasonable?
If your answer is a confident “Yes,” then you are dishing out SMART learning objectives.
And, congratulations! You have just crafted a good lesson plan which definitely deserves an effective implementation.
Through careful planning, learning can become a very impactful experience for the students. Most importantly, teaching becomes dynamic and meaningful.
Planning your lesson delivery following the learning by doing scheme is a perfect example of great teaching. A good lesson plan is created by a great teacher. It deserves a productive implementation.
Highly supported by purposeful learning activities, your lesson plan indeed provides you the best guide to effective, interactive, and collaborative student learning.
How do you prepare for a lesson? Do you enjoy writing your lesson plans? Put together your best thoughts about lesson planning in the comment section below.