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Friday, December 6, 2013

Planning a Lesson

            This past week, Mr. Barry showed me a lesson-planning guide, with the goals and aims in each individual subject for the next week. In this chart was written what each subject was, what they have been learning the past week in that subject, what the goals and aims for this following week are, additional notes on how he wants to teach the new material and finally small notes on children that may require additional help in the subjects.  It was a very simple chart that was well organized, but it also included all of the important information that was needed in order to know the exact goals and aims of each unit. 
            The aims and objectives of the unit of work are all clear and achievable.  There are small goals for each lesson and each week and they show what the end result should be at the end of the unit.  Along with this, it shows what the students have worked on previously and how they are building off of it.  While it is a relatively simple chart and it only shows a week’s worth of activities, it is very helpful in seeing how the children are progressing in what they are learning. 
            Having aims and objectives for each week makes it more achievable.  Many times teachers will just have the end goals for a unit of work and then work up to the big goals.  However, with the small goals, children are able to slowly work up to these goals and the teacher is able to focus on specific aspects of the unit and narrow in on what they are teaching the students each day rather than having such broad aims.
            All the units have been designed to build on what has already been taught in order to ensure the continuity of learning.  While looking through the chart for the week, it shows what the students will be learning this week and underneath each goal for the week, it is written in on what they have already learned previously that will connect to the new work they are doing.  It is very important to connect each lesson to what has been previously learned in order for the students to build upon their understanding, rather than feel as though everything is disconnected. 
            One of my favorite parts of how Mr. Barry has written out the unit of work in these charts is that he includes notes on particular students.  Each student has a different style of learning and different areas of strengths and weaknesses.  He knows which subjects students are stronger in, as well as which subjects students struggle with.  He keeps track of each student’s progress.  I also noticed how he wrote ways in which students that had a greater strength in one subject would be able to assist other students that were weak in that area.  I think it was important to note these sorts of things in order to properly help each student.
            While he included which students would need help and which students were strong in each subject, it was not very detailed in terms of what teaching methods he would use.  There were no ideas for differentiating teaching while teaching to the entire class.  He knew which students needed the help and wrote in a few notes on how to help them after they were sent to work on their own or in groups, but little was talked about on how to differentiate during the whole class part of the lesson, which is a very important part of every lesson.
            There were also no notes on the resources that would be needed in order to meet the aims and objectives.  Nor were there any notes on how the students would be assessed on their learning.  While there were clear aims, I was unsure as to exactly how he wanted to assess the students to make sure they fully grasped the concepts.  I also still have not seen anything that related to homework outside of the classroom.  I am still unsure if they actually have homework in this school because there has been no talk about it in the classroom by the students or by Mr. Barry. 

            Overall, while there are still many pieces that should be included in a unit plan, Mr. Barry’s charts for each week helped break down the bigger units into smaller aims and goals.  This is important to narrow in on each child’s specific learning tasks for each lesson rather than have such broad topics that students never are sure what they should be focusing on.  I think it is important to have these structured unit lessons written out in order to maintain a clear, consistent and structured lesson structure in order to better help students learn.

1 comment:

  1. Megan, It sounds like Mr. Barry's lesson planner is a great place to get organized and look at units and subjects in a closer way. But, as you pointed out, he is definitely missing strategies, teaching methods and resources that would help him to further organize his lessons and better support all the learners in his classroom. Mr. Barry seems to know his students and how they interact with each other and with different content areas very well, though. That is so important in delivering effective instruction, and I find the fact that he notes how he will use student strengths and interactions to support his teaching very impressive.


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