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Here is a summary of what I’ve learnt while reading the ninth unit.
The following functions are important when writing lesson plans:
-An aid to planning : writing down what the teachers expects the students to achieve and how they intend to make that possible. It helps the teachers to think logically and to plan their time accordingly.
-A working document : a lesson plan helps the teachers to keep on target and gives them something to refer to during the lesson. The plan needs to be flexible in case a modification is necessary later on. It also has to respond to the needs of the class.
-A record : a lesson plan is also a record of what a class has done and which materials have been used. It doesn’t need to be written in a certain way and the method that will be used is up to the teacher. If a change needs to be made, the teacher should make a note about it.
I also read that the basic principles of lesson planning are:
-Keep it simple; you may need to refer to it during a lesson.
-Do not try to script the lesson.
-Structure it and maintain the same structure.
-Write the anticipated time for each activity in the margin.
-Check for balance of skills. Try to make sure activities fit together to give the lesson a smooth flow.
-Keep it flexible and open to adaptation.
On the other hand, being organized is highly important. Before the teachers start a lesson, there are some practical things they can do to make sure it goes smoothly :
-Check that they have their lesson plan.
-Run through their lesson plan and make sure they have all the necessary aids and material they need.
-Check that the equipment works.
-Lay out material and aids so that they can easily find them.
-Arrange the seating as desired.
-Make sure that the board is clean.
-Be ready to chat to the students as they come into class. This will help break the ice with the students and get them in the mood to learn.
I also learned that the way a lesson is planned is up to the individual. At the start of their careers, teachers should also strongly consider structuring their plans more, so that they remain aware of what they want to achieve and how they planned on doing things. Including the following in the plan is also recommended :
-Learner objectives : this is what the teacher want the students to be able to do by the end of the lesson.
-Personal aims : it should describe what the teacher wishes to achieve and it is usually an area that they would like to improve.
-Language point : this shows the theme around which the lesson is based and also how it fits in with past and planned future lessons.
-Teaching aids : materials and other aids that the teacher will need in the lesson. This can be used to quickly check if what is needed is available at the start of a lesson.
-Anticipated problems : it is very important to try and anticipate any particular problems that the students or the teacher may have. It is also important to think of a solution.
-Procedure : a description of the activities that will be used to achieve objectives.
-Phase : Engage, Study or Activate.
-Timing : it is one of the most difficult areas for inexperienced teachers and it is vital to plan how long each activity is expected to take so that the teacher is able to see if he or she has too much content or not enough. The timing must also be realistic and flexible.
-Interaction : who will be interacting at each stage of the lesson (the teacher, the students or both).
-Class level : the level of ability that the class has with the language.
-Number of students : it is sometimes useful to anticipate how many students will attend to make sure that the activities are suitable for the class size.
-Date/time : this will allow the teacher to keep a historical record of what he or she has done with a class and when. It will also help those who may teach the same class at a later date.
-Teacher's and observer's names : may be useful if the class is being monitored.
I also learned that good teachers monitor the quality of their own lessons and are continually striving to improve their skills and make their classes enjoyable. An effective way of doing so is to evaluate their own lessons and make notes of what went well and where the lesson could have been improved.
I also acquired knowledge about the sequence of lessons planning. The following aspects are important :
-Flexibility : teachers will often need to make changes to plans during lessons.
-Goals : an experienced teacher will build goals for the students into a sequence of lessons. This will give both the teacher and the students something to aim at.
-Revision : lesson content needs to be continually reviewed over a sequence of lessons to ensure that students retain the information.
-Variety and balance : teachers need to make sure that all skills are included and given equal treatment. They will also want to incorporate a good variety and mix of activities.