Friday, August 17, 2012

Simple Lesson Design 8-14-12

“Failure to plan is planning to fail”
-Benjamin Franklin

What a great way to put my lesson plans in an easy to use form.
This is like having mini notes as I teach.  I appreciate the idea of boiling down the lesson plan to the main ingredients and reminders for me as I teach.  This is no different that having the rules posted, the scoreboard, or the WBT signs reminding kids of what they are to do in class.    

The emphasis on practice as crucial to our success as teachers is a point well taken.  We always talk about the importance of kids practicing, but we don’t talk enough about the importance of teachers practicing.  Why shouldn’t we practice our routines and lessons  so we make permanent what we teach?  Practicing requires us to critically examine what we do every day in the classroom. We need to ask ourselves if what we are doing is relevant and important.  If not, get rid of it.

Another good idea is the Bridge.  Having students repeat the question I pose is a great way to get kids thinking critically about content and I can quickly check to see who is on task. Using the Because Clapper in conjunction with Bridge will really help me focus my students this year and get them to think deeper and formulate better answers. 

Finally, the point of praise and improvement was well taken.  We must never forget our year long goals of recognizing every student in our classroom.  Improvement rather than achievement is what we should be having our kids strive for.  Consistent use of the SIW is a great way to reinforce improvement.  I found allowing the students put the stars on the SIW really reinforced the idea their hard work earned them the reward.  All in all, the Simple Lesson Plan is a great alternative to traditional lesson plans with all the “administriva” that can get in the way of teaching. 

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