Guidelines to Write a Lesson Plan
A Lesson plan has many important attributes which most definitely will assist the teacher in teaching (even though there have been theories about lesson planning arguing that it might not be flexible for the students). There is no doubt that coming to class prepared is essential whether with a lesson plan or without. It is very helpful for inexperienced teachers especially those who may lack direction.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Amelie R. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Reasons to Write a Plan
There are three functions for writing a lesson plan; an aid to planning, a working document, and a record. Visually writing down the expectation and achievement planned for the students can aid the teacher to think logically about available time in relation to stages. A working document is very useful to refer to in class not only that but it also shows the students that you have planned for them and visually shows them the teacher had put time into the lesson (like doing homework). And finally, keeping a record of all the classes means they are able to look back 6 months prior and see what they have taught the students in exact. These three functions are very important attributes for the use of lesson planning.
When it comes to writing the lesson, there is no rule about how to go with it, some teachers like to write formally, while some only write notes and some would log details into class notes. A teacher may write on the lesson plan however they desire but there are basic principle guidelines for teachers to consider. A couple of guidelines are that teachers should keep it simple with just outlines of instructions and no big paragraphs. It should remain flexible and adaptable to the needs of the students, for example, if students were enjoying Pictionary and are participating, even the shy students or weaker students, so it would be wise to lengthen the game. Anticipated time for each stage and activity is essential as time can run out very quickly and the teacher might not have covered all the important vocabulary yet etc. Structure the plan and try to maintain that throughout the lesson, and also try to balance receptive skills and teaching productive skills to make sure you cover all the parts.
What to Include
There are many things a teacher could include in a lesson plan when writing it down. The list begins with Learner objective, this is what you want the students to achieve by the end of the class. Personal aims which should what the teacher wishes to achieve by the end of the class. Language point shows the lessons' theme around which the teacher has the lesson based on and how the current lesson fits with past or planned future lessons. Teaching aids is where you write down any materials you need for the class such cassette player etc. Anticipated problems are difficulties you reckon the students will face during the lesson, now keeping mind it is for both students and teacher, as it would be a good idea to remind the teacher themselves what they might need to watch out for. There should be a massive section for the procedure section as here all activities will be written down for you to visually see for the whole period. There would usually be three extra columns next to the procedure column to help identify the following: phase (Engage, Study, Activate), timing (for each activity) and interaction (teacher to student or student to student). The class level could also be included to pinpoint the level of ability the class has with the English language. It is always a good idea to know how many students are attending the class. Depending on whether the class has an even or odd number can help with grouping students. The two most common things teachers should always remember to write is the date and time. This is very important as it helps put the lesson into a timeline of progress on anything and everything you can observe.
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In conclusion, every teacher can do what they prefer, having a lesson plan doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have a lesson plan sheet but I find that visually jotting down, in moderate detail, what the goals, achievements, and improvements are significantly helpful to teachers teaching development and experience gain.
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