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Lesson planning is one of the most important skills teachers learn during their teacher training. A great lesson plan can help keep your lessons focussed and structured, essentially the more you plan the better your lessons will be.
It can be tempting to skip lesson planning, but trust us it’s worth the effort. Structured and focussed lessons can help keep students engaged and can help achieve better learning outcomes – even for the less motivated students.
Let’s take a look at why lesson plans are important and what they should include to help ensure you are on the path to planning great lessons.
A lesson plan doesn’t just help teachers be prepared to teach, it benefits the students by setting a clear focus for each lesson and determines the learning outcomes. It can also highlight assessment opportunities and benefits the school as a whole as lesson planning and outstanding lessons are a criteria Ofsted look at during inspections.
Great lesson planning helps teachers:
While there are no set rules to follow, and you will likely develop your own style of lesson planning, here are some ideas to help you plan great lessons.
Ofsted states that teachers should have a good understanding of what students learnt in their previous years. This should be taken into consideration when planning lessons and can be helpful for planning future lessons too.
Highlight the purpose of each lesson in your lesson plan and the desired learning outcomes you want students to achieve. Consider the national curriculum for your subject to ensure your lesson plan is inline.
Think about how you will help all students achieve the learning outcome. Differentiate your steps by learning styles and include a variety of learning techniques to ensure all students are included and feel part of the lesson.
While you may think this is only relevant to teachers of languages, Ofsted actually looks to see what new vocabulary is being taught and learnt across all subjects. Try to introduce a new word or two in each lesson to help students broaden their vocabulary.
It can be difficult to remember all the facts and figures you want to include in your lesson, especially if you are new to the material or a less experienced teacher. Use your lesson plan to prompt you by including all the extra information you want to cover in your lesson.
Consider the resources you want to use in your lessons and when you will need them to ensure your lessons go exactly as planned. It can be easy to forget to make requests for technology and other resources, but if it is in your plan you are more likely to be prepared.
Adapt your lesson plan to support all learning levels and abilities. Work with the school SENCO to ensure that SEND students have the same learning opportunities during your lessons.
Include an approximate timeline of how long you will spend on each aspect of your lesson plan. Remember to allocate extra time to allow for students’ questions and for students who may need a little longer to complete tasks. Think about how you will break the lesson down using a variety of teaching techniques.
Lesson plans also play a vital role in the interview process, so when you are preparing for a teaching interview make sure you thoroughly consider your lesson plan. A structured lesson plan can tell interviews a lot about your teaching style and also other soft skills such as creativity.
Ensure you consider how you will motivate students to learn and the types of activities and tasks you want to include in your lesson plan. Plan to your strengths to help you really show your talents and make a great first impression.
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