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What is a Lesson Plan?

More lesson plans are adding online components as education becomes more tech savvy.
Lesson plans are often evaluated and approved by the administration before being taught.
Teachers create lesson plans to outline what will be taught in class.
Lesson plans have to be developed with student attention span in mind.
Teachers often design lesson plans around curriculum units.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2014
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Lesson plans are highly organized outlines that specify the subject matter to be covered, the order in which the information will be presented, and the timeline for delivering each section or component of the subject matter. While these plans are often used by corporate trainers as part of new employee orientation or continuing education opportunities for existing employees, the device is more commonly associated with teachers. Today, it is not unusual for school officials to evaluate and approve the teacher’s plan in advance.

The main function of the lesson plan in an elementary to senior high school setting is to ensure that teachers are following the correct curriculum and that each class will be exposed to the data in a timely and efficient manner. When the plan is prepared properly, it also provides the teacher with the opportunity to plan learning modules and strategies in advance, so that the material in question will be covered effectively. In most school systems, it is the responsibility of the teacher to prepare the lessons in accordance with the guidelines and regulations provided by the school system.

A basic lesson plan includes three main divisions. The foundational element has to do with the material that is to be presented in classrooms. This means the choice of material must be part of the approved curriculum. While some systems may allow additional resources to be included, there is still the requirement to make use of the approved resources.

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Along with identifying the curriculum that will be used, a lesson plan also organizes the material into a series of classroom sessions that will allow the teacher to effectively present the subject matter within time period specified. This leads to the third division of the plan, which has to do with defining the strategies that will be employed in each setting to accomplish the goals for that class period.

Increasingly, the teacher submits the lesson plan to someone connected with the administration of the school. The administrator is tasked with the responsibility to review each facet of the plan and confirm that the structure and content of the plan is in keeping with school standards. Once the plan is approved, the teacher is free to begin assembling any resources that will be helpful in implementing the provisions of the plan.

Depending on the school jurisdiction, the lesson plan may be highly detailed. For example, the plan may identify each point to be covered within the class session and assign a specific portion of the class time to make the presentation. All the individual points are presented in a specific order and must be completed by the end of the class session. In other jurisdictions, the teacher will still be expected to identify what will be covered in the session that day, but has some flexibility as far as the order of presentation and how much time to spend on each individual point.

Under the best of circumstances, a lesson plan makes it possible to present students with all the relevant information regarding the subject. However, there are critics of this system, noting that if the plan is so detailed that it leaves no room for creativity, the process may be more of a hindrance to the learning process than a help.

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cafe41
Post 4

Suntan12-I know that is what my child’s teacher did last year. I know for language arts lesson plans, many teachers use writing prompts.

Writing prompts are like sentence starters that get the child thinking about the topic in order to write about it. This is generally done for creative writing and children in first grade and lower are usually encouraged to use inventive spelling.

This helps with their cognitive and creative abilities, which is why teachers at this stage are generally not worried about spelling errors.

I also have to say though, that Enchanted Learning is an excellent site that offers lesson plans on all subjects, from literature, science, to social studies, and mathematics. They even have seasonal lesson plans involving Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I often use this site with my own children when having to write projects on various seasonal themes like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

suntan12
Post 3

Icecream17-Wow, that sounds like a great site. I know that math lesson plans often use manipulatives, especially with younger children.

Sometimes math concepts can seem very abstract to young children and teachers have to use outside tools in order to demonstrate in concrete terms what the computation steps are.

For example, a lesson plan idea involving place value might include multiple groups of ten sticks that are wrapped together. This helps the child count by ten much easier and understands that the number 54, for example represents five tens and four ones.

Once the child is exposed to this visually, the concept of place value is much easier to understand.

icecream17
Post 2

Sunshine31- Another elementary lesson plan involves the site called Spelling City. Spelling City, allows children the opportunity to learn a set of designated spelling words for the week, by typing them in as the computer reads the words out loud.

The parent has to program the words in first, in order for the lesson plan idea to work. The child is then exposed to sentence building section, which provides an opportunity to practice grammar skills as well as develop their vocabulary.

In addition, there are several memory games related to the spelling words in the lesson plan that allows the child to develop his memory and cognitive abilities using the same spelling words.

sunshine31
Post 1

There are many free lesson plans available online. Starfall, for example offers preschool lesson plans in phonics instruction and in building reading fluency.

Initially consonant sounds are introduced, and a series of pictures relating to that letter are displayed. There are also short and long vowel sounds as well as entertaining songs for the children to master these phonics rules.

The child is then introduced to digraphs and diphthongs and is asked to read a series of sentences with the newly acquired skills. At the end of every segment there is a congratulatory tone as the character display fireworks and tell the children that they have done a good job.

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