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What makes a great lesson plan? 6 tips on how to build yours!

  • Publish Date: Posted about 3 years ago
  • Author: Leah Baker

Whether you have been teaching for years, training, or a newly qualified teacher, it is always good to refresh your skills of lesson planning and find new and interesting ways to provide the wonder of your knowledge to your students.

teacher at map at front of class

We would recommend you still take the time to plan your lesson, even though these do not need to be provided to Ofsted.

To engage your students, they need to gain your trust, and this will happen if you walk into the lesson prepared and confident. If your lesson is carefully planned and constructed, you will maximise your chance of your students having a meaningful learning experience.

We would recommend mapping out the objectives of what your class needs to learn and prioritise your time. Then you can design learning activities to ensure all important points get across. We would then propose you try to incorporate an assessment or a way to check the students understanding.

Remember, if a lesson does not go to plan, it doesn’t mean it was not productive. The plan will provide you with your outline, learning objectives and teaching goals to follow. But if you accomplish them and your students are on the right track, is still a positive.

  1. Identify the objectives / aim

To create your lesson plan, you need to identify the learning objectives. This just means, what you aim or hope the learner will accomplish by the end of that class. What information should they have retained and what should they be able to do by the end of it. Learning objectives are usually written in a language that’s easy to understand by the students. Determine the needs of your class, whether that is reviewing what you have already taught, or something new.

  1. Plan your resources

What material are you learning or introducing within this lesson? What activities are you going to create to make this lesson engaging? Remember, the activities and resources should relate directly with your learning objectives. Create a list of everything you need and ensure you walk into the lesson fully prepared.

Websites such as twinkl are great to source free resources to support your lessons.

  1. Clear instructions

Once you are fully comfortable with the above and you have decided how you are going to engage your students, you need to ensure that your communication is clear from the start of the lesson. Discuss the outline of what the lesson is going to be about and make it easy to digest.

Give examples that may relate to them if engaging in a discussion to help them understand. Think of ways to spark their intuition.

Once you have set up their interest in the topic, you need to make sure you are clear with your instructions of the task ahead. Use your resources that you have used to create your lesson plan. If possible, get your students involved and make tasks more interactive to encourage concentration.

  1. Give plenty of time

Try not to bombard your students with lots of explanation and ensure you are giving plenty of time for the class to get on with their main tasks to show their learnings.

Think about what kind of practice you are going to include to monitor their success of their learning.

There are 3 ways you can do this, but a whole lesson can include all three:

  • Guided Practice – This is where you take the lead to go over what has been taught and you can get the class involved to input their understanding. This can gain confidence as it’s a whole class activity.

  • Collaborative Process – This will allow your students to work in a group or partners. It gives room for discussion and provides them the opportunity to explore these new concepts they have learned. This will also allow less confident students to not feel overwhelmed as they are working together.

  • Independent Practice – Once the above has taken place, give plenty of time for the students to complete a task on their own. This can be an essay, a worksheet, a drawing etc. This will allow you to monitor independent understanding and individual aims.

TOP TIP –It is important to differentiate your individual student’s needs, this way all children in the class can make progression. All abilities need to be thought of so adapting tasks is key and should be considered.

  1. Monitor success

Linking from the above, It is very important to include time within your lesson to be able to monitor your student’s success and understanding; so having success criteria, such as problem-solving tasks, tests, papers, a performance etc will provide opportunities and evidence for students to demonstrate and practice the knowledge they have learned. Break the aim of the success criteria into achievable steps, this will allow students of all ability’s inclusivity of the task.

Even if not every student in the lesson will fully achieve the aim, their success can still be monitored through the success criteria and practice you have set and the learnings they have met. (Some poetry for you there!)

In simple terms, what differs between this and the aim – the aim is the end goal. The success criteria is the evidence of the students success and learning.

  1. Lesson closure

The way the lesson ends it just as important as how it started as this is where the students can fully absorb their learnings.

  • Overview the aim and what the students have learned.

  • Allow them to identify the key ideas so they are refreshed.

  • Emphasise any key information that’s important and needed to of been taken in if this was missed from the above step.

  • Answer any questions and tie up lose ends.

  • Correct any misunderstandings.

  • Go over the next lesson (so if it’s a test/quiz this will allow students to prepare or If they were interested in the lesson today, they can recap.

  • Set any homework that is due.

Allow time for your students to evaluate whether they have achieved the lesson objectives.

If you have organised your lesson in a way that the lesson closure has plenty of time – this part is a good place to provide the class with a quick quiz so you can evaluate learning to provide you with the knowledge of what to do in the next lesson. You may need to review today’s learnings before moving on to new material.

Whether you need support in behaviour management or support with your routine, Dunbar Education are here for you.

Contact us today and one of our happy consultants will be happy to help you!