What would you do if you couldn't think of a great lesson plan?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by riverdance85, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2013

    What would you do if you couldn't think of a good lesson plan in time for class tomorrow?

    I mean, even if you have a rough draft of an entire week? Sometimes I feel that the plans I write for the next day absolutely stink! For instance tomorrow, all I have planned is an oral verb drill and a practice worksheet to go over. Maybe we will watch a cultural video on youtube and play a verb conjugation game. Maybe I am bored with my lessons. Am I overreacting to what I think my students are thinking about my lessons?

    I am really struggling with lesson planning ideas. I don't want to be repetitive with my activities!

    Thanks for your support.

    riverdance85
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 21, 2013

    Go on the internet and find some great games related to your subject area.
     
  4. riverdance85

    riverdance85 Rookie

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    Oct 21, 2013

    I also use a lot of games with my subject area...maybe I use them too much?
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 21, 2013

    You could come up with some emergency mini-lessons for yourself! Kinda like a 1 day emergency subplan.
    It says you teach Spanish. I would find some very short text, pick out the new vocabulary words. For warm up have students copy or look up the words' meaning from a dictionary. Then as a class together read the text. Translate it (either as class, or in pairs or groups). Focus on 1 grammar component.
    Have students work with the new vocab words, and the grammar. Have them practice some dialogue from the text.

    Choose the text appropriate for their level and the length of your class.
     
  6. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Oct 21, 2013

    If you're in a creative rut, don't pressure yourself into make every lesson awesome. Try to find one great thing to do per week/unit/whatever and start there.

    I wouldn't want to have something spectacular every day anyhow. Even if I could think of it. I firmly believe that we train ourselves (and our students) to expect more and more from us when we give more and more.

    A book I read years ago had this story: Her kids would ask for an ice cream treat every time she took them to the mall. She was watching her pennies and had to say no a lot. Each time she had enough money to buy a cone for them the kids acted like she had given them the world. A few months later the income increased and she decided to start a tradition of getting cones every time they went. And she found that after a few consecutive visits the ice cream cones no longer solicited the joy that they once had. The kids had become desensitized to them.

    If every lesson plan is exciting and thrilling, pretty soon none of them will be. No matter what hoops you jump through.
     
  7. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Oct 21, 2013

    Not all my lessons are the most amazing, thrilling, involved things on the planet. I'm just not that creative, and sometimes the internet gives me no ideas either. Some of my lessons do suck. I'd say probably once or twice a month I have not very good lesson plans just to get the information across and move on. It's the way it goes. Make sure 95% of your lessons are great, and that 5% that suck won't ever be noticed.

    I'm only on my third year teaching. I'd hope by year 5 or 7 I'll have far less sucky lesson plans.
     
  8. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Oct 21, 2013

    Check into Rick Wormeli's ideas for lessons.
     
  9. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Oct 21, 2013

    The first year I taught, I tried to make every lesson exciting and creative. I quickly found that if I continued down that road, I would burn out way too quickly. I still think most of my lessons are "great" or "good" in the sense that the students are learning the content, but I more frequently give a typical lesson of instruct, model, practice. It's not always exciting, but that doesn't mean it's a bad lesson. I do try to do something fun every 2 weeks or so to break it up, but not all the time.
     
  10. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think the highest priority is making sure that you are teaching a standard that is important and teaching it well. If it is a bit dry, the students will live. If the students learn, it is a good lesson. If the students learn and enjoy the lesson it may be considered great. While all lessons should be good in that students should learn the standard, not all lessons need to be great.

    I love coming up with highly creative ideas that the students ooh and ahh over. I have learned though that sometimes students need the rigor of plowing through the important, but less exciting standards.
     
  11. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Oct 21, 2013

    The only lessons that suck are lessons in which students don't learn anything or can't practice what they've learned.

    As other posters have phrased it in the past, you don't need to make every lesson a dog and pony show.

    I teach a class that has a LOT of exciting lessons, because that's the nature of the class (physical science has a lot of explosions, chemical mixing, and experiments). But there are many days when we simply sit and do calculations practice for density, or answer review questions, or take notes. You can make things a bit more interesting by allowing more collaboration between students, and I've found that they are very content with that.

    Anyway I guess my advice, is have a few things to spice things up every now and then, but don't be afraid to simply have calm days. If you want good ideas, some of the best resources I've found is the school art teacher. Some of the hardest to reach kids will sometimes suddenly complete the assignment if it is an art project, and art fits into nearly every subject.
     
  12. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Oct 22, 2013

    I also feel that some of my lessons are not too thrilling. Sometimes I just present what they need to know and then they have to learn it..... sometimes I cannot think of a good way for them to engage with it. For example, with reading, sometimes we just have to read. I try to choose good novels, texts etc but some students just do not like to read.
     
  13. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Sometimes it happens. Today was probably my most boring review class this year. But the students were struggling and needed straight lecture/questioning more than the fun of another game. Not every lesson will be awesome.
     
  14. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 22, 2013

    Planning with a purpose has been our school's focus for the past few years. We work on planning backwards. We map out what we want the kids to be able to do, then plan how to get them there. Are there other teachers at your grade level that teach the same subject? If not, is there another teacher you feel comfortable going to? Planning alone can be hard. It helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of.
     

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