16 December, 2010

Tips to Move Ahead - New Year Greetings!

Dear Educators,

New Year Greetings!

New Year -2011 is round the corner. It’s time to introspect, change, and move forward in your chosen profession – teaching. Here is a chance to explore and experiment something different in the techniques of lesson plan and execution. Guidelines for quality lesson plan, sample template and a model plan are provided here. Takeout little time from your busy schedule and work on it and create an amazing lesson plan on any one topic you are planning to teach in the first two weeks of New Year – 2011. It’s just a fun and a step ahead for educators, who wish to look forward for a holiday experience with teaching throughout life!

Tips For Developing A Quality Lesson Plan

This guide is not meant to be the one and only way to develop a lesson plan. It is a general overview that highlights the key points of creating a lesson plan. Below is a list of the steps involved in developing a lesson plan as well as a description of what each component should be. You may also find a new Lesson Plan Template and a model lesson plan on physics to be useful for creating your lesson plans!

1. The first thing to consider, obviously, is what you want to teach. This should be developed based upon your school standards. You also need to be aware of what grade level you are developing the lesson plan for (and keep that in mind of course), and also record a time estimate for your lesson plan to help in time budgeting. Once you have your topic, you can begin determining how you want to teach the topic. If you didn't use the CBSE standards to help in developing your topic, refer to them now to see what specific standards/goals your lesson plan can fulfill. Having your lesson plan correctly aligned with CBSE standards helps to prove its worthiness and necessity. It also helps in assuring that your students are being taught what your School and CBSE require. If you are able to correlate your lesson plan with standards, record links to those standards in your lesson plan. Be sure to include a title that properly reflects your topic.

2. To make sure your lesson plan will teach exactly what you want it to; you need to develop clear and specific objectives. Please note that objectives should not be activities that will be used in the lesson plan. They should instead be the learning outcomes of those activities. As an example, if you wanted to teach your class how to add 2 + 3, your objective may be that "the students will know how to add 2 + 3" or more specifically "the students will demonstrate how to add 2 + 3."

Objectives should also be directly measurable (we'll get to this in assessment / evaluation). In other words, make sure you will be able to tell whether these objectives were met or not. You can certainly have more than one objective for a lesson plan.

To make objectives more meaningful, you may want to include both broad and narrow objectives. The broad objectives would be more like goals and include the overall goal of the lesson plan, i.e. to gain familiarity with adding two numbers together. The specific objectives would be more like the one listed above, i.e. "the students will demonstrate how to add the numbers 2 and 3 together."

3. You would probably find out exactly what materials you are going to use later, but they should be shown early in your lesson plan. This way if someone else were going to use your lesson plan, they would know in advance what materials are required. Be specific here to make sure the teacher will have everything they need. For the addition lesson, you should make sure you have 10 or so unifix cubes per student, paper, and pencils.

4. You may also want to write an Anticipatory Set, which would be a way to lead into the lesson plan and develop the students' interest in learning what is about to be taught. A good example deals with a lesson on fractions. The teacher could start by asking the students how they would divide up a pizza to make sure each of their 5 friends got an equal amount of pizza, and tell them that they can do this if they know how to work with fractions.

5. Now you need to write the step-by-step procedures that will be performed to reach the objectives. These don't have to involve every little thing the teacher will say and do, but they should list the relevant actions the teacher needs to perform. For the adding 2 + 3 lesson, you may have procedures such as these:

A. The teacher will give each child 2 unfix cubes.

B. The teacher will ask the students to write down how many unfix cubes they have on paper (2).
C. The students should then write a + sign below the number 2, like this:

D. The teacher will then pass out 3 more unfix cubes to each student.
E. The students will be asked to write down how many unfix cubes they were just given. They should write this number below the number 2 that they just wrote, so that it looks like this:
F. Students should now draw a line under their 3.
G. Now the students should count how many unfix cubes they have together and write this number just below the 3, like this:
H. Ask students how many unfix cubes they had to start, how many they were given to add to that, and how many they had total after the teacher gave them the 3 unfix cubes.

6. After the procedures have been completed, you may want to provide time for independent practice. For the example of above, students could be given time to add different numbers of unfix cubes together that a partner would provide them with.

7. Just before moving on to the assessment phase you should have some sort of closure for the lesson plan. A good idea for this is to return to your anticipatory set, i.e. ask students how they would divide up that pizza now that they know how to work with fractions (refer to the example in step 4).

8. Now you want to write your assessment / evaluation. Many lesson plans don't necessarily need an assessment, but most should have some sort of evaluation of whether or not the objectives were reached. The key in developing your assessment is to make sure that the assessment specifically measures whether the objectives were reached or not. Thus, there should be a direct correlation between the objectives and the assessments. Assuming the objectives were to be able to add two single digit numbers together, an example would be to have students approach the teacher and add two single digit numbers (that the teacher provides via unfix cubes) on paper using unfix cubes as a guide.

9. Adaptations should also be made for students with learning disabilities and extensions for others. Examples would be adding 1 unfix cube to 1 unfix cube for students with learning disabilities and adding 9 unfix cubes to 13 unfix cubes for gifted students. This is best done with specific adaptations for specific students, to take into account their individual differences.

10. It's also a good idea to include a "Connections" section, which shows how the lesson plan could be integrated with other subjects. An example would be to have students paint 2 apples, then 3 more apples below them, etc. to integrate Art into the lesson plan. A better integration would involve creating 2 or 3 different types of textures on those apples, assuming texture was being studied in art class. Putting a lot of work into this can develop complete thematic units that would integrate related topics into many different subjects. This repetition of topics in different subjects can be extremely helpful in ensuring retention of the material.

That's it! If you followed all the instructions above, you've successfully written a very thorough lesson plan that will be useful for any other teachers wanting to teach such a topic. One of the most helpful tips in writing your first lesson plans would be to look at lesson plan template and model lesson plan provided with this to get a better idea of what needs to be in the lesson plan. I am sure, the lesson plan you prepare as per the above tips will be amazing. Please mail me your plans. I can share with many other fellow educators.

Model Lesson Plan Template

Lesson Plan Title:

Concept / Topic To Teach:

Standards Addressed:

General Goal(s):

Specific Objectives:

Required Materials:

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):

Step-By-Step Procedures:

Plan For Independent Practice:

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):

Assessment Based On Objectives:

Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):

Extensions (For Gifted Students):

Possible Connections To Other Subjects:

Model - Title - Convex/Concave Lenses
Subject – Science/Physics
Class - 6-9

I. Goals: The students will see how both convex and concave lenses work, some of the different uses of both types of lenses and do an experiment showing how these lenses work. Also, they will be able to describe terms related to lenses.

II. Objectives:
1) Students visually recognize the difference between concave and convex lenses.
2) Students explain that convex lenses cause rays of light to converge (come together) at a single point, and that concave lenses cause rays of light to diverge (spread apart).
3) Students explain how a lens is used to produce an image.

III. Materials:
For set- 10 plastic cups- 10 coins/spoons
For coop. learning- pieces of window glass, small magnifying lens, white cardboard, paper, ruler.

IV. Motivational Activity:
1) Explain how the last few days we have been talking about light rays.
2) A simple experiment that I will have them each do. Have a small empty plastic cup with a penny placed in the bottom of it. Have the students back up until they cannot see the penny. Then go around and add water to the cups until they are able to see the penny in the bottom. Or if more plausible put a spoon in a cup of water.

V. Sequence of Procedures:
After doing this experiment with the students I will ask them if they know why they were able to see the coin with the water in the cup? Or, why the spoon appeared to be "broken?" After they answer, or after a few tries explain why. It is because of refraction of the light.

1) Refraction- The bending of light as it moves from one substance to another.
Ask students for any more examples they can think of where refraction takes place? After students start into different kinds of lenses start with this... Then, start on how lenses, a piece of material which light is able to pass through, are used to refract light. Also, explain that there are different types of lenses.
1) Convex
2) Concave
Ask the students if they know the difference between a convex and a concave lens?
1) Convex- A lens which is thicker in the middle than on the ends.
2) Concave- A lens which is thinner in the middle than on the ends.
Way to remember the difference: A concave lens looks like the opening to a cave, therefore you can remember that it curves inward.

Convex Lenses
1) Refracts parallel light rays so they come together at a single point. Does anyone know what it is called when the light rays are made to come together?
-Known as convergence.
2) Point is known as focal point.
3) Distance from center of lens to focal point = focal length.
4) The thicker the middle of the lens the shorter the focal length.
5) Example of a convex lens is a magnifier.
6) Show overhead showing parts of convex lens explained above.
7) Image can be seen without actually looking through the lens. This type of image is known as a real image.
8) When held close to objects, inside of its focal length, it produces an image known as a virtual image. To see a virtual image you must look through the lens.

Concave Lenses
1) Refracts the rays so they come apart. . Does anyone know what it is called when the light rays are made to come apart from each other?
-Known as divergence.
2) Always forms a virtual image.
3) Show overhead of concave lens.

Practical Uses Of Lenses
1) Who knows of some uses of lenses?
2) Cameras (normally convex), glasses (near= concave; far= convex); telescopes (at least 2 convex), microscopes (at least 2 convex).
3) Ask for questions on material covered.

Earlier in the chapter we learned about how mirrors are used to reflect light rays, today we learned how light can also be refracted across an object. Think about how these two phenomenons are different and also how they are related to each other.
1) What does a lens do to light form an image?
2) What are the difference between a convex and a concave lens?
3) What are some of the uses of lenses in everyday life?
Tomorrow we will learn how these three things (light, refraction, and reflection) work to give us the colors that we see.

Out-of-class Activity:
Have students read next section on color, and have them list the colors of the spectrum in decreasing order of frequency.
Tomorrow we will learn how these three things (light, refraction, and reflection) work to give us the colors that we see.

VI. Evaluation/Problems:
Problems with students understanding material (Make sure to ask plenty of questions).

Go Ahead!

Prepare one for any lesson you are going to teach! Experience the Change!

Wish you all the best!

For Your Success & Glory!

Read, Learn & Flourish!