Next, we turn our attention to the learning activities part of your lesson plan, or as the L2TWS calls it, Design for Instruction. For many of you, this might be the first lesson plan you have written, and you may be feeling a little anxious about it. At this stage in your preparation program, we do not expect you to be able to write a flawless lesson plan without assistance, but please let your Field Experience Coordinator know what you need help with and what you are comfortable completing alone. Here is a link to an article about six common mistakes in writing lesson plans: http://www.adprima.com/mistakes.htm. The terminology in the article is slightly different than the L2TWS in places, but don’t let that confuse or distract you from the main ideas of the article.
There are many formats for lesson plans, and they all have the common features of being an organized description of activities with enough detail that the lesson can be implemented by and understood by others. Here are some examples:
Be sure to ask your mentor teacher if he/she has a preferred format for lesson plans and for examples of formal lesson plans he/she has created.
As you write up your lesson plans, understand that formal written plans like this are more detailed and polished than the informal shorthand plans teachers write for themselves alone. Your lesson plan should be detailed enough that someone else could deliver the lesson and someone who isn’t present in the class (such as your EDPSYCH 3148 professor) has a reasonably clear idea of how the lesson would look. Also, you’ll find that when you are actually implementing the lesson, it helps your confidence and soothes your nerves when have planned specific questions and directions in advance.
You will need to complete the Design for Instruction sections of the L2TWS and hand it in to your Field Experience Coordinator for his/her comments and feedback before you can teach your lesson. That way, he/she can help you identify and avoid pitfalls and help ensure that your lessons go smoothly and are successful, pleasant experiences for you.
One other thing to keep in mind is that the lesson plan is just a plan, not a contract that you must follow if you see it is not going well. Part of organizing a lesson is making contingency and back up plans for various things that may not go well. At this point in your experience, you have probably observed a class or lesson that did not go as I had planned and observed me adapting to the context. That’s life as a teacher!