Understanding what is “Acceptable” and what is “Target” Presented by Dr. L. J. Clark Plans should be submitted at least 2 days before the observation. Lesson plans should be for lessons where you will teach new content for your supervisor to observe; it should not be a review or test day (Skowron, 2006). Plans should include all that you are planning for the lesson and include the use of technology for the presentation of the lesson (rating of 2) and student use of technology (a rating of 3 possible) (Hopson, Simms, & Knezek, 2001). Lesson plans should include more than 1 activity and more than 1 group size. There should be enough detail in procedures to explain the activities and some detail of what you will say and do, and what the students will be doing and learning (lesson content). Every lesson should include HOTS questions and not just knowledge and comprehension questions. Every topic of any lesson presents opportunities for high order thinking (Pogrow, 1996). Every lesson should include review of previous learning to connect to new learning. Every lesson should have a purpose and importance and must be stated orally to the students. They want to know “why we got to learn this”. The objectives of the lesson must match with your GLEs or standards and benchmarks and include where the objective falls on Bloom’s Taxonomy (Forehand, 2005). Every lesson must have accommodations for diverse learners in the strategies chosen, group size, materials used, and assessment (Tomlinson, 2005). All lessons should include a plan for remediation, early finishers, and enrichment (see ideas). Students needing remediation should not be given just some extra work to do and left alone. They need to work with someone until they grasp the concept. Break it down into smaller pieces. Give me depth of understanding here. There is a difference between early finisher activities and enrichment activities (see ideas). Early finishers are sometimes students who rush through their work, but often are students who learn fast. Don’t assume that you will not have early finishers. Early finishers can finish an activity early in the middle of a lesson or near the end. Plan for it. Every lesson should include either informal or formal assessment. The informal assessment should be MORE than just asking questions. Use some sort of check list. Not every lesson needs to include homework, but the lesson your supervisor observes should (see your rubric). Not every activity, but every lesson must end with closure. Closure is the teacher asking students about their learning. Closure is NOT the teacher telling students what they did today or what they learned today or “Here’s your homework” (see closure ideas) Peter & Ryan, 2007). Every lesson should include a reflection of the lesson. Here’s an opportunity to be honest and realistic about your growth as a professional. There are strengths and weaknesses in every lesson. Remember: When you fail to plan well, …you plan to fail miserably. There should be a daily routine for students when entering the class. It helps to have an agenda on the board so students know what will occur that day, and it keeps you focused. Have something for students to be doing as soon as they enter so that you may silently take roll. Now that you have their attention, state and/or point to the objective for the day’s lesson. Once you get them on the bus, they will need to know where they’re going, wouldn’t you? Have a physical signal that you use to get students’ attention. Mine is a raised open palm. When you implement activities, tell students what your expectations are for the activity, e.g. cooperative learning groups, games. It is easy to allow a student who is passive or not engaged to disappear in the classroom. Call on that student to do or speak in class in a manner that he or she will not be embarrassed. As a teacher it is your responsibility to bring the student out of the shadows into the marvelous light of learning. Learn students’ names as soon as possible so that you can call their names to answer questions and be engaged. Help less-engaged, shy, passive students, and slow learners to find success in your class by baiting them with easy questions or tasks until you can eventually give them more challenging questions and tasks. Plan for and ask open ended, thought provoking, critical thinking or high order thinking questions in every lesson. Do a search on critical thinking and cultivate this strategy for yourself. Use wait time (Wong, 1998). Motivation Discussed: ◦ The motivation of a lesson is the appetizer for the meal. ◦ It is the salsa and chips while you wait for the meal to begin. ◦ When we think of motivation we think of the “hook” that baits ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ students to want to know what the lesson or current learning will involve. Motivation should not be a topic to test students nor should it be an opportunity for students to complete a work sheet. The ideas must in some way relate directly to the lesson so there’s no doubt in the students mind how the motivation relates to the lesson focus. The motivation is a separate activity that should take no longer than a few minutes prior to introducing your objective. In your lesson plan, you should indicate enough explanation to communicate “how” the motivation will be used. Merely listing a motivation in the lesson plan is really not enough (Hunter, 2004). Streaming videos pertaining to the lesson focus Video clips related to the current lesson or topic (Cowan, 2008). Objects procured from rummage sales, yard sales or your home Items from vacation trips, gardens Relics of any sort Items pertaining to various cultures Children’s literature or excerpts from other literature that pertain to the lesson Remediation Discussed: Students needing remediation should not be given just some extra work to do and left alone, but should be given tasks that are significant, meaningful and relevant. They need to work with someone until they grasp the concept. Break it down into smaller pieces. Allow students to work in groups where he is assigned a partner to work with him. Design alternate forms of an assignment that breaks tasks into smaller pieces. Ask another student in the class to explain a concept to the student. Create a graphic organizer that shows the concept in another way. Use tables, charts, or other graphic organization. Reteach the concept or content using another teaching strategy by breaking it into small bites. Use individualized teaching. Rather than giving a worksheet, tailor the work to fit the needs of the student who needs help. Remediation activities must match the objectives and the lesson (MacIver, 1991). Early Finishers Discussed: ◦ Early finishers are sometimes students who rush through their work, but often are students who learn fast. ◦ They need other tasks that are significant, meaningful and relevant. ◦ Don’t assume that you will not have early finishers. ◦ Early finishers can finish an activity early in the middle of a lesson or near the end. Plan for it. Allow students to create a graphic organizer of the concepts or content. Give students a crossword puzzle or magazine featuring the content of your lesson to explore. Have them to draft 5 questions that might be used on the test and present them to you. Early finisher activities must match the objectives and the lesson (Cicciarelli, Klawitter, Lewis, Schwartz, &Shiotsu, 2009). When thinking of enrichment activities, think high on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Think “analysis, “synthesis”, and “evaluation.” These students are your advanced students who are ready to be challenged on another level. They need other tasks that are significant, meaningful and relevant. You may also bring in materials that might be used on a grade level higher than their current grade level. Give students an open ended or controversial, debatable question to discuss in their groups. Have them to present the opposite view from their own. Allow these students to draft essay questions to propose for use on the test. Always have some issue in mind that pertains to the content to give to the students to research on the computer or research in the school library. Then have them to report back to the class what they found. When the students express strong interest in an issue, be ready to allow them to explore a concept or idea that pertains to the lesson. Allow them to change the ending to a story, change an event in history, create, debate, challenge an idea, contrast an event history with today, test a theory, create a dance step, and compose a song. The ideas are limitless. Have students craft a questionnaire to investigate an idea or concept from your content. Enrichment activities must match the objectives and the lesson. These activities must be significant, meaningful, and relevant. (Croome & Saunders, 1985). Closure is the teacher asking students about their learning. Closure is NOT the teacher telling students what they did today or what they learned today. Closure informs you of what you may need to reteach or which direction you need to proceed in the next lesson. Closure references the objectives. With your objective(s) in mind, compose questions that aligned with your objective and lesson. Within the final five minutes of class, ask these questions of students to determine whether they learned what you taught. Ask them about the activities and how those activities helped them to learn. Use exit tickets: Purchase 5x7 cards and have students to write down what they’ve learned and give it to you before they leave class. Help them understand that they can’t leave until they write something. Exit tickets can also be used to request students to write a question that they would like to be answered next class meeting. Require students to turn to each other to discuss points of the lesson that are important as teacher monitors (contributed by MAT candidate). Discourage asking questions to the whole group for group answers because the passive learners will simply wait for others to answer. You want to know which of your students reached the objective(s) for the lesson (Wolf & Supon, 1994). Cicciarelli, Klawitter, Lewis, Schwartz, Shiotsu, (2009). Early Finishers-Book G. R.I.C. Publications. Cowan, J.E. (2008). Strategies for Planning Technology-Enhanced Learning Experiences. Clearing House, 82(2). Croome, Saunders, (1985). Curriculum Enrichment Handbook. Prince George. Forehand, M. (2005). Bloom's Taxonomy. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Bloom's_Taxonomy. Hopson, M., Simms, R., & Knezek, G. (2001). Using a Technology -Enhanced Environment to Improve Higher-Order Thinking Skills. Journal of Research and Technology. Hunter, R. (2004). Madeline Hunter's Mastery Teaching: Increasing Instructional Effectiveness in Elementary and Secondary Schools. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Corwin Press. MacIver, D.J. (1991). Helping Students Who Fall Behind: Rededial Activities in the Middle Grades. Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students. Peter, S., & Ryan, M. (2007). Writing Effective Lesson Plans: The 5 Star Approach. Allyn & Bacon. Pogrow, S. (1996, November). HOTS: Helping Low Achievers in Grades 4-8. Retrieved from http://www.hots.org/article_helping.html.