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Domain 1: Lesson Planning Reflection

By Andrew Zegelin
!cto"er 14# $14
For me, planning and preparation are key in a well structured class. Eliminating the
human factor (the choice of behavior by the students) when the teach shows that
they know what they are doing, students are more likely to respond. Lesson
planning can become difcult if the teacher is not focusing on the most important
aspects rst. !ow are we going to get there is a huge "uestion and if the essential
"uestions are already set in place, then the rest will fall into place. Lesson planning
is a learned skill. #t is not something that comes naturally to individuals. #t is
something worked and re$ected on. %hen looking through &omain ' of the
&anielson framework one can see what they know and what they are lacking.
%hen looking at what # am teaching my students, the main focus that # have is
whether or not the content directly correlates to the rubric standards. For the #(
curriculum it is very important that # clarify the standards for the students without
error. )hey are graded on a rigorous system where if the understanding is not clear,
they will be marked down and not receive their #( diploma. )he way # insure that my
aims correlate to the standards is that # had created a master plan where # broke up
the standards by week. *o each week, we are touching on a new standard, both
e+ploring the concept and elaborating on the concept to build a great amount of
understanding. (y doing this, # fulll the &anielson framework showing that # have a
strong grasp to of the discipline that # am teaching (Environmental *cience).
)he sample lesson provided was taught to my students. %e have been working with
this concept for about the last week. *uccession is the concept where barren areas
are then coloni,ed by organisms and large organisms take the place of smaller
organisms and after '-. year you have a full blown forest. %hen creating this
lesson, # was using the - E model (engage, e+plore, elaborate, e+plain, evaluate). #
feel that keeping student/s attention on the topic will make them more likely to
learn what is happening. %hat # nd difcult is nding activities that they nd
interesting. # see that my students are more interested in music and their phones
than anything else. )he &anielson framework emphasi,es knowing your students.
)his is so you can apply your lesson material to their interests to help them make
connections to the material. # nd that while # plan for my senior students, it works
well. (ut the 0uniors are not so compliant. )hough, as their teacher, # am aware of
their strengths and their weaknesses, and also aware of their needs (or special
needs). )hey still chose to not take notes or participate no matter what the activity.
%hat # have seen improvement on within my lesson planning is making clearer
outcomes and ob0ectives. # have been working closely with my cooperating teacher
to tighten up my ob0ectives to make better essential "uestions. )hese "uestions
drive the planning of the lesson so every activity we do points to those essential
"uestions. (looms ta+onomy is a tool that we use to create balanced lessons that
challenge the students to think instead of sit, listen and take notes.
%hen planning, # like using power point to help the lesson $ow. )he skill to work on
for me to make sure that the power point is not driving the lesson, but student
thoughts and re$ection are driving the lesson. )he power point is there so # do not
have to write as much. 1ideos and web comics are also resources that # en0oy
presenting to my students. )hey respond well to these types of activities.
(ut then there is the assessment. )he &anielson framework calls for clear
assessments which connect to the content that is being taught. !ere is where
backwards design connects to the - E model. %hen creating the essential
"uestions, the assessments can also be designed. %hat has been learned and how
can it be shown. # en0oy formative assessment in the form of pro0ects. )hese
assessments come with clear rubrics presented to the students so as they create
their pro0ects they can guide themselves with the rubric to get the best grade
possible. 2fter all, grades are a measurement of e3ort, and when the e3ort is
shown, the understanding glows.
Lesson planning is an art. #t can be learned and improved on. (y re$ecting on the
ways in which a teacher approaches planning (with an honest view) a teacher can
see where they need the most work. )he &anielson framework is very clear about
the e+pectations a teacher should show in their planning. %hen teachers make the
e3ort, not only will the class respond better to activities, but discussions can run the
class. )his makes a more student centered classroom where the teacher can act as
facilitator instead of the main show.