Lesson plans need to consider key aspects of a quality lesson:
A successful plan for any lesson (or learning event) allows for prior thinking and includes lots of scope for change, as we are guided not by the document but by the questions and discussions of our learners.
Our role as professional educators is to understand and identify for every student their optimal zone of growth. This is the ‘Zone of Assisted Performance’ and must involve a teacher’s assistance. The zone is best identified as the space where challenge is proportionate with the child’s capability: go either side and you will strike boredom or find frustration as the emotional reaction.
The teacher plays many roles in the advancement of “conscious awaredom”. It is the teacher who must weave a concept into context so that the new meaning resonates and develops deeper understanding. This is the art of elaboration.
And it is the teacher who must exemplify how the learning purposefully reverberates in their own life. This is how we amplify understanding by expanding importance.
To this end, there are key pieces that jigsaw into an excellent lesson. The quality teacher developing quality learning events needs to reflect and intentionally incorporate these elements.
Elements of a Quality Lesson
Identifying the terms and their definitions – as well as highlighting their origins. We think with language and so ensuring key terms are identified and explicitly defined improves understanding.
Ensuring you are imparting knowledge content in ten minute slabs (see the Ten Minute Focus).
An introduction and regular “catches” to hook attention and interest increases engagement. Leaving a lesson with a hook for the following day is also good practice as the role of sleep in the learning process needs careful consideration as well.
Awareness of process
Consideration where this ‘lesson’ sits within a wider scope and sequence – which links to what Lev Vygotsky termed the Zone of Proximal Development as a key piece in his Social Development Theory (a foundation for Constructivism).
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To give critical and constructive advice centred on individual understanding and capacity based on purposeful marking and tracking of personal attainment.
What is needed to give a broad understanding or integration: how do the concepts link with a broader focus so that what is being learned ‘makes sense’ and is purposeful.
So there is wide discursive input drawing in all views at all stages – learning is a collective pursuit as minds sharing ideas develop different viewpoints into a broader perspective.
To organise learners into groups to maximise opportunities for collaboration.
To highlight the need for individual ownership of learning to increase expectations of each student’s personal best (called PB).
A key feature of a good learning moment is the opportunity to discuss how it went and what learning has been targeted. This is the reflection stage of Action Learning.
What is required to ensure a well-organised lesson?
What skills and understanding are needing further attention?