Lecture Planning?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by brians1024, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. brians1024

    brians1024 Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I have a friend that is just about to start teaching her first year, new teacher, in 7th/8th grade science. I was asking her how she would plan out how to do her daily lectures and she said she hadn't yet gotten that far and was looking over her lesson plans.

    I am a little over a year away from being able to retire from my job after 30 years in the medical laboratory. I will be 58 and thought that I could give myself a new challenge and teaching science to me could be an enjoyable and rewarding choice after retirement.

    I'm still in the thinking mode for doing this and I do apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong forum or if I'm intruding not being a teacher at this moment. I'm posting this in the new teacher area only because I thought that the question I'm asking here might be relevant to those new teachers just starting as well as my friend to help.

    Ok, now for the question part.

    How do you or do you plan out a daily lecture?

    I know that you're given a lesson plan on what your supposed to teach, but I would like to know how you decide exactly how to pass along the information and how you fill a class period. I've tried to remember back to my early school days, but quite frankly just can't remember back that far. :blush:

    Here is what is in my mind as to how I'd prepare a lecture and please let me know if I'd be far off.

    I would read through a section of the lesson and make up about 10 to 20 homework questions and assign that reading and questions on a daily basis.

    I would then prepare maybe 4 to 5 class discussion questions for the following day and look for class participation.

    For my lecture, I'd choose an area of the reading assignment I found interesting or that I think the students might find interesting and do a little more "digging" to get them extra information and present to the class.

    Maybe allow 20 to 25 minutes of class time at the end that they may read and work on the homework assignment for the following day. If there were ever a problem with the students not following instructions of reading and working on homework assignment, lecture would just go through end of period.


    Test questions would come from homework questions, class discussion questions, and "extra" lecture notes/material.

    -------------------------------------------------


    So on a typical day:

    Good morning, I need each of you to pass up your homework from yesterday.

    So did everyone get the reading assignment done? Yes, good.

    So who can tell me the phases in mitosis?
    etc.

    We're going to talk about the difference today between mitosis and meiosis. Have about a 20-30 minute lecture and ask for questions.

    Give reading assignment and questions to be completed for tomorrow. Allow any remaining time to work on that reading assignment and homework.


    Would this be realistic? :dizzy:
     
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  3. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I never lecture for more than 20 minutes, and that is only if we are doing interactive things during the notes. Most of my class time is spent doing hands-on or collaborative activities. Science class should be as interactive as possible!
     
  4. KateL

    KateL Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I also do many more hands-on activities and labs. I also can't expect the students to read at home and understand the material, especially if I haven't introduced it in class yet. Many textbooks are not well-written, or are written at a level that is too high for my students. Even when I was in school, I didn't start reading the textbook at home until I took AP classes in high school. So no, I don't think your plan is realistic, especially for middle school students.
     
  5. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2011

    Not really... Personally, I've never heard of any school that "gives you the lesson plans" and I certainly know my school would have a fit if I lectured every day. I think that with your experience you could potentially be a really great teacher and resource for students, but to me this does not seem like a realistic portrayal of teaching.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2011

    There is a time and place for lecture...day after day though? Boring. Lecture 'bursts' are more effective interspersed with video clips, hands on activities, cooperative learning...
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I agree-- we're not handed lesson plans. We're handed a syllabus for the year, broken down into what has to be taught in which trimester. So right now I know what my kids need to know by Christmas and by Easter. Everything else is up to me.

    What I do is this: I sit at the computer and make up a document in Word-- a table. I list the lesson number, its topic, a rough idea of the homework, and any notes (as in "Needs graph paper.") Then I break my syllabus into what looks like managleable chunks. Every 10 classes I schedule a test, since I like to test about every 2 weeks. (I can move those tests around once I get a look at the school calendar and see where the short period days are.)

    Then, when I'm done, I count. I need at no more than 180 days, with at least a week for review for final exams and at least 3 for each of the trimester days. I also have to assume we'll get a snow day or two, and that I'll have to call in sick a few times; I have 3 kids. If I have too many lessons, I have to find a way to combine them. If I don't have enough, that's fine, since I KNOW that some topics will take more than one lesson.

    That's my starting place. I then prep each lesson. I'll need a Do Now problem (I like SAT prep). I'll need an opening example, and a set of examples in order of increasing difficulty. I have my kids generate their own "Process" notes, so I don't have to write that down (though I did early in my career, just in case I got stuck.)

    Then I can add in the fun stuff; worksheets or cooperative work or video clips.

    I can't just follow along the textbook-- its a resource, not my entire syllabus. There are some things on our syllabus that aren't contained in the text, and some they simply don't cover well.
     
  8. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I find that I lecture less and less each year. When I do plan a lecture, I usually focus it one a major theme that I want students to understand. For example, in my world history class, a lecture topic might be "the problems of industrialization". I always outline the main points of the lecture, and then create a PowerPoint slide for each of them. I include visuals/quotes as appropriate. Students usually have some type of cloze notes task to complete as we talk about it.

    My lectures are more "foundational", and just provide students with the background of the topic we're exploring. For example, if I was teaching a lesson on problems of industrialization, I would give my brief lecture first and then probably have students spend the majority of the time analyzing primary sources from the actual period.
     
  9. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2011

    I lecture regularly, but I teach history to high school students. From my perspective, history is about storytelling and one of the ways you convey narrative and context is by modeling it in your storytelling.

    But the OP has not yet begun teacher training, so it seems as though part of the question is how teachers construct a class period.

    OP, if you enroll in a teacher education program you will get a lot of help figuring out what works, how to divide up the time, and how students think at different stages of their development. You'll also observe and teach in a classroom during your student teaching experience. So many of your questions will be answered over time as you get a closer look at the students and at the prevailing winds in education.
     
  10. brians1024

    brians1024 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2011

    Thanks for the replys. Very interesting reading to me. I only barely remember my college days and the amount of work I had to go through there.

    This is why I posted here. I've really been thinking hard about going into teaching and have been reading through posts throughout this forum. Quite a bit of great information from some great people on here.

    I can see where in my thinking, lecture really would be boring to sit through for all the youngsters. It was boring to me when I was in college. :yawn:

    I would love to hear more.

    I know that most schools are budget strapped, how do you get supplies you need for hands on projects you want to do? Are there resources you use to obtain filmstrips or videos?

    I would enjoy knowing some of the hands on projects you do with your students.

    What do you do with your students when they become disruptive or unruly?

    I've been working as a medical technologist for a little over 30 years. I think I would enjoy teaching science or math.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2011

    If you're thinking science, the job market for Chem and Physics is a LOT better than for bio. And math is always (relatively) decent.

    Take a look at the requirements for certification in your state.

    I love teaching math. I've been doing it since 1980, with 5 years off during that time to be home with my kids. It's a wonderful profession, and it's absolutely the right one for me.
     
  12. brians1024

    brians1024 Rookie

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    Aug 18, 2011

    Alice, math was always my favorite subject. It would probably be my first choice with science being a close second.

    Just curious, did you go through calculus in college?

    I got up to going through precalculus in college and it became too much memorization for me having to remember what secant, cosecant, tangent, etc. in trig was bad enough, but what secant/cosecant= and on up became too much. I stopped after precal. :lol:

    I only needed college algebra for what I was taking. I was only taking the upper maths for fun. I know, nerd me. :p
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 18, 2011

    I got my Associate's degree in math at a community college, then took a few more math classes in my 4 year university. So, yes, I took through at least Calc IV, then on to Differential Equations and I forget what else.

    But I've read of other math teachers here with varied backgrounds; check the requirements in your state.
     
  14. MrBiology

    MrBiology Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2011

    To be completely honest from what you've described as your background and teaching experience/readiness, I strongly encourage you to a take a few teacher preparation courses at a local community college or university.

    I went through an entire 4-year PDS program with my university, and as some of the classes seemed like a waste of time and very redundant, I couldn't imagine teaching without that educational prep background. I've learned everything I know about actually teaching from my university. Student teaching alongside an experienced mentor teacher is an invaluable experience that I would strongly recommend any new teacher to have.
     

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