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Lesson Design and Planning:A Pedagogy Circle for Department of Human Performance and Sports Sciences, WSSUFebruary 6, 2009facilitated by Joanne Chesley, Ed. D., Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
The typical components of an effective lesson include: objectives, standards, anticipatory set, teaching input, modeling, checking for understanding, guided practice/monitoring, lesson closure, and independent practice. Let’s talk about each of these.
Objectives finite, specific intentions; the roadmaps for reaching the goals. When you write your instructional objectives, you should be sure to write them to address various domains or centers of the brain (Bloom, 1956). The domains are: Physical or Psychomotor Domain Cognitive Domain, lower level objectives are seen in information recall,primarily Cognitive Domain, higher level objectives are generally observed through problem solving Affective Domain objectives
Objectives should also follow the ‘S.A.M. rule’:
Specific means only one objective is discussed at a time. Attainable describes the parameters for achieving the objective. Measurable refers to the precise evaluation method that will be applied. Objectives for each lesson should be noted in the syllabus.
Standards These may be established by the US Department of Education, a state’s department of education, an accrediting body for your discipline or higher education in general. Your lesson should state which standards are addressed by the concepts taught. Standards should be noted in the syllabus.
Anticipatory Set This is something you place on the board or on the desk, or it could be a text message you send to their phones, about the lesson to be presented. It is to get the students thinking; to encourage their interest in the topic before the class gets started.
Teaching Input This is what you bring! Will it be a short lecture followed by a learning activity?...a participatory lecture which allows students a chance to demonstrate their understanding of the work or to ask their questions? This is the most critical component, for it establishes what is most important in the lesson, how the learner is to work through the learning tasks, and in what ways.
While this may be called Teacher Input, it is part of the students’ learning time. Plan for their active involvement Prepare your questions ahead of time Share these w/students before class to ensure a more lively and informed discussion Connect the learning with their individual prior experiences or career goals. This creates a sense of buy-in and personal interest. Ask thought-provoking questions What kind of activity would spark interest? Perhaps you could start with a You Tube video on the subject.
Modeling The teacher helps the students to better see and do each new concept by demonstrating exactly what s/he expects of the students. So if it is a math problem, you do one, step by step while the students watch first--- then you do one with them--- you modeling, they giving the directions. The same would apply in a computer class, chemistry class, nursing class.
Checking for Understanding We don’t really know when a person truly comprehends a concept or to what level-- at least not at first. We can however use a taxonomy of questions and learning activities to address the different levels of readiness. Here is Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956) Knowledge Understanding Application Synthesis Analysis Evaluation
Guided practice, monitoring, and feedback This is a continuation of the modeling, only you are not demonstrating any longer. The students are working independently or collaboratively to do what you just demonstrated. Perhaps it is using the concrete rules and examples you provided to write an exemplary theme sentence. Your job is to walk around and observe very carefully who needs additional modeling or other help.
If you are not inclined to walk around the room to monitor learners’ practice, you can: Call each student up to your desk to check progress or…. Have each one to send you a sample assignment in email or BB assignments so that you can get an early assessment of each student’s current learning status or….. Allow them to do peer support, where each team is given a set of criteria /rubric to apply to their reviews. Work can be done by blind review if this seems necessary.
Not finding learners’ errors early enough only allows them to practice the errors over and over. It is then difficult and time consuming to undo this damage. We want them practicing accuracy, which means we must check for accuracy early in the lesson and regularly throughout the lesson and the course.
Lesson Closure Though a lesson may be continued when the class returns later in the week, there still needs to be a closure for each lesson. Good closure includes: Recalling the objective for the lesson Reminding them of what was important Previewing the next lesson Directing students to syllabus for assignments and deadlines Not getting ‘caught by the bell’; closure is important!
Independent Practice ; another term for homework. Have you carefully selected homework that reinforces the lessons taught? Are students getting regular and quick feedback on homework? (If not, it is really not ‘practice’ work. ) What is your purpose for each assignment? Is it developmental or summative in nature? Do students have the opportunity to redo? Why not? Is it because you don’t want to review/grade again and again? How might these competing interests be addressed?
There are 6 questions that should be answered in your written lesson plan. What needs to be taught, and what do students need to know in that regard? Why am I going to teach this lesson? What resources do I need in order to accomplish the objective(s)? How am I going to teach this lesson? How will I know when the students have ‘gotten it’…. and then what? What will I do with the information I gathered from assessing my students’ learning?
Assessment Fulfillment of each objective should be assessed according to the measures stated in the objectives. What form of assessment can best deliver the information that is needed? Is the assessment for the sake of continuous improvement or to demonstrate mastery? How will you change your teaching to address low performance on an assessment?
Summary Effective lessons include objectives, standards, anticipatory set, teaching input, modeling, checking for understanding, guided practice/monitoring, lesson closure, and independent practice, informative assessment.