Lesson Plan Help for New Teachers
Being a new teacher can be quite intimidating as there are so many critical things to learn. And, that does not even include what happens when school actually starts. One area where a new teacher can find help and resources is for lesson planning.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you plan:
- Plan backward from teaching objectives: When you know what your Common Core Objective is, you can plan the strategies you will use to teach that concept. This can work well because you know where you are going in your instruction, and you can plan activities, enrichment, applications and assessment around your content.
- Plan units with Deep Learning in mind: Units are a wonderful way to combine many subjects under one umbrella but strive to keep real life in mind. Deep learning takes place when students are faced with real-life problems with no clear cut answers. Working through a thorny problem with a small group means that students must entertain other perspectives and consider solutions other than their own. This broadens their thinking which can be centered around their own experiences understand that there is more than one answer.
- Project-based Assessments: While it is tempting to use multiple choice and short answer tests to evaluate mastery because they are familiar, dip your foot into project-based assessments at least once per semester.
- Teach with Multiple Intelligences in mind: Howard Gardner believed there are 8 bits of intelligence that should be engaged when teaching. Try to use as many intelligences as possible when teaching a concept: Linguistic, numbers, pictures, music, self-reflection, kinesthetic, interpersonal or social, and natural.
- Ask questions for the purpose of learning: Learning who your students are, learning why they are taking your class, asking how you can improve their learning both in and out of class.
- An excellent resource is veteran teachers: Take your questions to them and ask what strategies work well for them.
- Check websites: Websites like com have resources that do not cost much and can help you kickstart a unit to which you can add your own ideas.
While these suggestions can help in a general way for lesson planning, keep in mind that planning lessons should involve feedback from the students themselves. If a majority of the students were struggling with a concept that day, you should consider a shift in the lesson plan for the next day. While it might seem wonderful to write a month’s worth of plans at a time, this does not account for the times when you must stop, backtrack, and adjust for comprehension and mastery before moving on.
Living in a digital age gives you as a new teacher immediate access to bloggers who share their experiences in teaching. This insight can be a huge help to you as you struggle with some of the same issues as you gain experience. So, take advantage of the YouTube channels, blog posts, and websites that provide valuable insight and resources for your new classroom.