By Cheryl Watford, Network Manager, Polk County Schools
As we begin our journey of becoming teachers, one of the biggest challenges is to learn how to do an adequate, efficient, lengthy, informative lesson plan. We are taught key features that must be included in that lesson, such as guided practice, independent practice, review, bellwork, reasoning, essential questions, and so on. What we are not taught, but we must have, is the ability to be flexible with our planning. To know when we are getting it to the students in a manner they can understand or if we have to change in mid-stream because we are staring out at a bunch of blank faces.
The ability to be flexible is not something that can be taught, but must be within a teacher if they are to be successful. Having great teacher resources and proven lesson plans are another way for a teacher to be successful. Part of the Discovery Education Network pages provides a ton of lesson plans that have been used in classrooms, by other teachers, and shown to work. Resources of all type of media are available at your disposal, just waiting for you to put them together yourself, if you prefer to create the lesson plan yourself. (But of all the things I have learned throughout my years of teaching, why reinvent the wheel, if someone else did it before me, ‘Borrow’ that and tweak it to fit my needs.
So, borrow away, use to your hearts content, or put together a variety of items to create a fresh new lesson. Please feel free to share your created lesson, or your ideas on how you tweaked a prepared lesson. We are all here to grow and benefit from each other.
After all, the puzzle pieces of a lesson are to be fit together perfectly for the group you are teaching, as well as the individual that you are. All pieces of your lessons can fit together for you, no matter what type of personality you have or what genre of subject area you have to reinforce.
Here is an idea I ‘Borrowed’ from the DEN lesson pages: They have a weekly thematic focus, this week is Astronomy. They
provide a discussion guide based on grade levels, so I chose Grades 6-8. Once you download the PDF file, you have the needed layout or lesson plan for that unit. It even provides the needed vocabulary words and active links to watch videos and whatever else you need. All at your fingertips, with really no need to tweak, unless you do not have the two class periods available, you may have to pick and choose what parts you use for your classroom. Than they have a tab available for Media and another for Activities. Explore and play, all learning about the universe.
So, what are you waiting for? Go check out the DEN Lesson Plan pages….. Go to the thematic units or browse by subjects. There is a field of knowledge already at your fingertips!