A lot of times we are not sure why we do what we do. Here is how we bring meaning to each aspect of an effective lesson.

Developing Effective Lessons

  1. Focus of the Unit
  2. Components of Your Lesson Plan- Based on Madeline Hunter Model
    • Focus Activity- Anticipatory Set or Set Induction: designed to grab the student's attention. Design the focus so that responses relate the experiences of the students to the objectives of the lesson or to spiral back to . How can a focus be used?
        • focus student attention on the lesson.
        • create a framework for the ideas, principles, or information that is to follow.
        • revisit previously taught concepts that build on the lesson in order to keep them fresh in the students mind.

    • Objective/SOL- The teacher should have a clear idea of what the teaching objectives are. What, specifically, should the student be able to do, understand, and/or care about as a result of the teaching. What Standards Of Learning are being addressed?
    • Explanation- How are you going to teach your lesson?
      • Input- Provide data and information needed for your students to gain the knowledge or skill.
      • Modeling- Show students examples of what you expect as an end product of their work. The critical aspects are explained through labeling, categorizing, comparing, etc. Students are taken to the application level (problem-solving, comparison, summarizing, etc.).
      • Checking for Understanding- Determine whether students have "got it" before proceeding. It is essential that students practice doing it right so you know if students understand before proceeding to practice. If there is any doubt that the class has not understood, the concept/skill should be retaught before practice begins.
        • Questioning strategies: Bloom's Taxonomy is an effective tool to use in order to help students reach a higher level of understanding.

      • Guided Practice- Provide an opportunity for each student to practice using new learning by working through an activity or exercise under the teacher's direct supervision.
    • Summarization- The actions or statements by a teacher designed to bring a lesson to an appropriate conclusion. Used to help students bring things together in their own minds and make sense out of what has just been taught. -->"Any questions? No. OK, let's move on" is not closure.<-- Closure is used:
      • to cue students to the fact that they have arrived at an important point in the lesson or the end of a lesson,
      • to help organize student learning,
      • to help form a coherent picture, to consolidate, eliminate confusion and frustration, etc.,
      • to reinforce the major points to be learned...to help establish the network of thought relationships that provide a number of possibilities for cues for retrieval. Closure is the act of reviewing and clarifying the key points of a lesson, tying them together into a coherent whole, and ensuring their utility in application by securing them in the student's conceptual network.
    • Independent Practice- Once pupils have working knowledge of the content or skill, it is time to provide for reinforcement practice. This is provided on a repeating schedule so that the learning is not forgotten. It may be home work or group/ individual work in class as part of a project. The practice should provide multiple ways of utilizing the skill/concept so that it may be applied to any relevant situation, not just the context in which it was originally learned. The failure to do this is the cause for most students inability to be able to apply something learned.