Lesson Planning in the Classroom

Techniques, November-December 2007 | Go to article overview

Lesson Planning in the Classroom


CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION COVERS SO MANY AREAS that it is difficult to provide lesson plans for all CTE teachers; however, most good lesson plans share common qualities. When creating lesson plans, teachers often consider the six levels in the Cognitive Domain of Bloom's Taxonomy: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Begin with the end. When the lesson is completed, what do you hope your students will have achieved? Is the objective to help your students meet one of your state's standards, one of the industry standards for the subject you teach, or perhaps to achieve both of these objectives? You may have broad overall goals such as integrating math or science into your curriculum, or your objective may be as specific as helping your students pass a particular test for industry certification.

Write out a description of the instructional procedures you will use in teaching the lesson and list key concepts and skills. An outline showing how you will introduce the lesson, specific student activities during the lesson, key learning outcomes, and how you will close the lesson can be helpful. Make sure you have all of the materials and equipment that you and your students will need for your lesson--and in the case of equipment, test to make sure that it is working properly. You might also consider in your planning how the lesson might connect to other subjects and whether you might be able to team with the teacher of an academic core subject to increase your students' learning even more.

You will also need a way to assess the extent to which your students have achieved the objectives you set for the lesson. This may be in the form of an exam or can be by watching students perform activities in a lab or simulation.

Many teachers use the Madeline Hunter lesson plan format as a starting point when creating a lesson plan. Hunter's eight steps are:

* Anticipatory Set--a short activity that sets the stage, gets the students' attention and focuses their attention on the lesson ahead.

* Statement of Objectives--tells the students the purpose of the lesson, why they need to learn it and what they will be able to do as a result of the lesson.

* Instructional Input--may include lecture, demonstration, explanation and instructions.

* Modeling--the teacher demonstrates in a graphic form what the outcome of the lesson will be.

* Checking for Understanding--the teacher observes the students' faces and asks questions to determine if they understand.

* Guided Practice--the teacher leads the students through the steps and helps them start practicing new skills and applying new knowledge.

* Independent Practice--the students work on their own.

* Closure--a review in which students demonstrate what they have learned.

Follow-up activities such as homework, exams, written assignments and lab projects can not only help you determine if the lesson was successful, but they can help reinforce the students' learning. …

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