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This Curriculum Management Update article is from October 2008. To receive the latest issue, subscribe here. • Curriculum Development • Curriculum Manager • eadership and Management Curriculum managers! planning is vital for successful lessons. "nn Maidment discusses her recipe for effective lesson planning To ensure successful learning and teaching, teachers must use a number of s#ills from their considerable learning armour". These include$ planning, recording, challenging, demonstrating, securing, managing, adapting, e%plaining, discussing, interrogating, revie&ing, evaluating, modif"ing, establishing and 'uestioning. (o& as# "ourself if "ou could do all of that &ithout planning for it. The effective lesson plan is the means b" &hich all of these things are prioritised and orchestrated. )t is the means b" &hich &e can provide for the diverse and comple% elements of learning lesson on lesson. The planning that underpins lessons must be robust, relevant and manageable. Why plan lessons? *lanning &hat and ho& &e teach is something that ever" teacher embraces ever" lesson of ever" da" of their teaching career. The da"s &hen teachers could go in to a lesson &ithout planning have long since and than#full" disappeared. esson planning for the 2+st centur" re'uires a deep #no&ledge of a variet" of issues. ,ffective curriculum managers #no& &ho &ithin their teams can model the &a" for&ard for others and &ho &ill be the &ea#est lin#s in need of strengthening and support. The aim is al&a"s to raise the team-s performance and attainment, and collaborative lesson planning can provide the catal"st for that. A model of teacher effectiveness, the report carried out b" .a" Mc/er for the then Department for ,ducation and ,mplo"ment, 0Df,,1 2une 2000, states that$ By adopting a professional approach, teachers’ energy can be channelled into planning and setting expectation, targeting the key elements which will make the difference to their pupils, and the results they are able to achieve. )n essence, this is &hat lesson planning is$ an opportunit" to formalise the process that effective teachers underta#e, in some form or another ever" da". esson planning should be seen as a #e" developmental aspect of a teacher-s ongoing professional reflections and planning. 3ppropriate plans provide a frame&or# for revisiting and evaluating the success of the lesson in meeting its ob4ectives. Impact of new curriculum 5e" to successfull" implementing the ne& statutor" curriculum that came into effect in 6eptember is the lesson7planning format, as teams &or# out their best &a" for&ard to embrace this, in man" cases, less prescriptive, more fle%ible frame&or# for teaching 0see$ http$88curriculum.'ca.org.u#1. 3s schools &restle &ith the changes, the" &ill be &or#ing together to identif" lesson planning that allo&s for opportunities for greater personalisation. This &ill be achieved through the range of approaches to assessing learners- #no&ledge, s#ills and understanding that must be planned for. The increased flexibility in the curriculum will give teachers more opportunities to focus on assessment for learning strategies and to provide greater support and increased challenge for those
there are a number of #e" curriculum principles that need to be considered in the lesson planning format that is adopted < see the bo% belo&. some schools appear to be ma#ing assumptions that lesson plans for all curriculum areas can be organised in the same &a". The" help provide team members. The" are the essential focus on &hich to establish lesson7b"7lesson plans. the overvie& of &hat is being taught and ho& it connects the past. in Curriculum /riefing$ Motivating underachievers < realising potential. The scheme of &or# identifies the :broad brushstro#es. :. methods. training and development needs and opportunities for special educational needs 06. present and future in the conte%t of student learning.(1 intervention and collaborative planning. The benefits of planning a lesson7b"7 lesson approach are substantial as the" help practitioners to develop and demonstrate a clear understanding of core elements of lesson planning. 20081 ?hatever "our belief and that of "our team. #e" stage b" #e" stage.who need it. ?hatever approach a team adopts. inspectors. parents and senior managers &ith that all important snapshot of &hat is being taught. the combination of scheme of &or# and a &ee#l" overvie& is often considered to be ade'uate detail on &hich to base effective learning and assessment. 20081 )n the &a#e of the changes. content. Optimus . timescales and other detail relevant to the curriculum area &ithin &hich the scheme is grounded. pp>7=. immediate resource implications.ealising potential$ understanding need-. et us not forget that one of the ma4or drivers for these changes has been the need to promote curriculum fle%ibilit" and personalisation. These &ee#l" plans are often s#etch" and identif". materials and evaluation needs to be replaced by a strategic approach and a tactical lesson plan "T#$% in which the learners are at the centre & 'focusing( on what the students will be doing and how they will be doing it. schools rel" on &ee#l" plans to gain an insight into the curriculum. Teachers tend to find the scheme of &or# particularl" helpful &hen considering the range of e%perience being offered to their students. its content and deliver". &ithin the school-s established 6o? protocols relevant cornerstone of sub4ect teaching and outlines of the programme of &or#. There are those &ho argue that$ The traditional lesson plan of ob!ectives. The scheme of &or# is a comprehensive plan that sho&s sub4ect b" sub4ect. . What has changed and why 9C3. The" provide an invaluable mid7term planning tool &hen identif"ing opportunities for peer observation. Schemes of work and weekly planning )ncreasingl".o&ever. 6o it &ould be a travest" if. @or e%perienced teachers. Key curriculum principles to incorporate • • • • Ob4ectives Differentiation /readth and balance *rogression . These schemes are not a substitute for lesson planning. in planning for this &ith our students.ducation. grouping strategies. 0The new secondary curriculum. "our individual and collective needs should be the underpinning rationale for the development of "our scheme of &or# 06o?1. vol =. &e disregard the professionalism and needs of our individual sub4ect teams. students. )t is possible to plan for a cross7organisation approach that does not militate against professionalism and individualism. no >. 0Diane Montgomer". this matter is one of departmental and school polic"$ staff are obliged to follo& the guidelines and e%pectations of the organisation &ithin &hich the" operate.of information concerning differentiation.
but a number of common denominators &ill be seen in all good lesson plans. evaluating its strengths and &ea#nesses so the" can then modif" and develop accordingl" to the ne& guidelines. ational considerations There are a range of national considerations and this is not the place for detailed revie& or . There is an implicit and e%plicit need for sub4ect teams to e%plore ho& to ma#e student progress the main focus of the curriculum. The recent national curriculum overhaul has meant that teams need to revie& current curriculum content.eflect and revie& Use a variet" of learning st"les and approaches Develop social s#ills Ta#e responsibilit" for o&n and other-s learning Convert mista#es into positive learning opportunities ?hen "ou are secure. ?hen "ou finall" thin# "ou-ve got it right "ou-ll probabl" find that the team has outgro&n it and "ou-ll go bac# to the dra&ing board. both independentl" and in pairs or groups . /ut such is the d"namic of teaching. has an a&areness of curriculum re'uirements at a national level. including those in the bo% belo&. teachers need to align their teaching &ith the revised programmes of stud" and the attendant sub4ect frame&or#. Learning opportunities to include in lesson plans • • • • • • • • • • Develop en'uir" s#ills *roblem7solve.time and energies. 3s#ing for the impossible is a recipe for disaster. and team leaders need to align their planning e%pectations &ith the real constraints operating on teachers.• • • • • • Continuit" Coherence Depth .lesson plans. )t is also li#el" to identif" the direction "our team is going in and address issues of student-s prior learning. This &or# is ta#ing different forms in different teams. of &hole7school policies and team decisions and places at its heart the need to consider learners. is a lesson format that reflects "our curriculum needs. "our teams can then develop a planning template. distilling from each the parts "ou &ant to use and personalising it &ith "our o&n specific criteria.needs &hile #eeping the teaching team focused &ithout being overburdened b" administration.elevance *ersonalisation and choice 3ssessment < both formative and summative Core requirements ?hen considering lesson planning.%plore options and evaluate outcomes *rocess information Convert mista#es into learning . over a period of time. ?hat &ill result. ma#ing opportunities for personalisation e%plicit and identif"ing #e" assessment opportunities. The" &ill plan in opportunities for covering a range of accepted important learning behaviours and e%periences. so temper "our e%pectations &ith a strong dose of realism before "ou go to "our team to discuss lesson7planning e%pectations. perhaps through loo#ing at other teams.and schools.
information on them. teams must consider &hat the" need. &e need to model the things &e tell our students about the value of ma#ing mista#es and as such &e must create teams in &hich it is safe to ma#e mista#es because &e recognise and respect them as .evie& Aroup identified that$ The single most important thing to change in teaching practice is the minute)to)minute and day)by) day use of assessment. /ut it is as &ell to be a&are of them as "ou tac#le "our lesson planning.evisiting the 3f strateg" is a &orth&hile e%ercise for all of those loo#ing to revie& their 6o?s and lesson planning. @inding the right lesson7planning format is often a process of trial and error. There is much fle%ibilit" for teams to decide. )n this &a".3 1 agenda (ational initiatives for securing t&o levels of progress at #e" stages including information on 3ssessing *upil *rogress 03**1 and assessment for learning 3ssessment for learning 03f 1 appears to be rising li#e a phoeni% from the ashes in some schools. The Teaching and earning in 2020 . if not all of the areas listed in the bo% belo&. class b" class. Four team might &ish to adopt a planning se'uence that addresses particular needs at specific times. ?hen a draft agreement has been made and a format is coming together.ver" Child Matters 0. 0Christine Ailbert . in other &ords "ou decide to revie& one part of the learning se'uence b" &riting a specific plan for it. )t is important for teams to realise that the more e%perienced a teacher becomes the less the" need to rest so heavil" on the dail" lesson plan. "ou might decide that it is necessar" to carr" out a lesson7b"7lesson evaluationG &hen revisiting an established programme "ou might decide on a model &here there is a :temperature-7gauging e%ercise.CM1 )nclusion 6ocial and emotional aspects of learning 06. 6o ma#e sure "ou have up7to7date information on some. *f pupils have left the classroom.MC). &ithin the polic" and practice re'uirements of their schools and colleges. (C6 3nnual Conference1 ?ith a substantial groundshift in the curriculum ta#ing place. 3s professionals.ffective group&or# @unctional s#ills earning platforms . curriculum leaders might &ish to consider the implementation process on a phased basis. :6eiDing success 200E-. and you have to wait until they are back before you’ve ad!usted your teaching you’re already into catch up. it is often &ise to pilot this &ith e%perienced staff to get further reflections on ho& to improve the process. ?hen a &hole7team consensus has been reached. an" &rin#les in the process can be ironed out along the &a". That’s Af#. Choosing lesson!planning format The ans&er to ho& to decide on &hich lesson7plan format is best for "ou is both simple and comple%$ "ou revie& &ith "our team the things "ou need to cover and then e%periment until "ou find the right model. Informed lesson!planning: information to consider • • • • • • • • • • • . teacher b" teacher. ho& and &hen the" use lesson plans and ho& the" revisit and revie& the outcomes the" identif".evised curriculum Aender d"namics +B7+C curriculum earning st"les . either "ear group b" "ear group. The kind of formative assessment that really impacts on a pupil’s achievement can’t wait until the books are marked or even until the next lesson. ?hen revie&ing a ne& 6o?. .
it is possible for the school to achieve a degree of uniformit" across the organisation &hile allo&ing for team or individual priorities and character.@1. the idea seems a commendable one. The process of deciding on a lesson planning format. 3 degree of uniformit" ma" be achieved b" all teams in a school b" ensuring certain givens are included in all lesson plans. Once a lesson7planning culture has developed. revie&ing and reformatting is a d"namic one that moves and changes according to national and local imperatives and the school and team-s declared priorities in terms of school development planning 06D*1 and departmental and team self7 evaluation 06. @or this reason. both independentl" and in pairs or groups . main activit". This is particularl" useful for "oungsters &ho find difficult" in organising themselves. )f the lesson format is the same in all sub4ects. /" striving for uniformit" of information the" have not left room for professional discretion and identit". enforced in all curriculum areas are difficult to 4ustif". )n this &a". but in practice it is often un&or#able. ?e all #no& of different department teams &ho cover the same ground in their lesson planning. Learning opportunities to include in lesson plans • • • • • • • • • • Develop en'uir" s#ills *roblem7solve. Models adapted from the lesson7planning format of one team and then. regardless of professional debate and &hole7 school concerns. @oremost among these &ill be the need to identif" assessment opportunities &ithin the lesson. There are some schools that have tried to move to &hole7school models of lesson planning.part of the learning process for us all. develop and end. 3dditional areas of importance &ill be identified b" the team-s self7evaluation and revie& process and those can then be catered for in the conte%t of the school-s agreed. )n essence. /ut a desire for unif7 ormit" does not have to preclude individualit".%plore options and evaluate outcomes *rocess information Convert mista#es into learning . it is neither difficult nor onerous to go through the lesson plans to identif" the opportunities for developing the learning behaviours identified in the bo% belo&. These assessment foci &ill depend on the culture and ethos of the school but more and more schools are using 3f practices to inform their evaluation of student learning. lesson7planning formats can be divided into ob4ectives setting. )t &ould be &rong to assume that once "ou have arrived at the model that seems appropriate toda" it &ill remain so for all time < it &ill not.eflect and revie& Use a variet" of learning st"les and approaches Develop social s#ills Ta#e responsibilit" for o&n and other-s learning Convert mista#es into positive learning opportunities 3ll lesson plans &ill need to identif" the name of the class teacher.rights to celebrate diversit" and professional 4udgement. ?ith the decision made to include these fundamental elements in a lesson plan. regardless of &hich lesson the" are in. the unit of &or# being studied and its place in the se'uence of learning. revie& and plenar". &hole7school lesson format. teams can then decide to include other elements that ma" be of high priorit" to them. e%position and plenar" or as some school prefer to refer to the lesson format$ introduction. then all students &ill #no& ho& the lesson is to begin. but &ho do it in &a"s that are &holl" uni'ue to them and respectful of their teachers. /e"ond that if teams are focusing on such issues as learning st"les the" might include a list of the preferred st"le for each pupil in the classG if the" are .
the teacher and associate staff are loo#ing for evidence of progress and success &ith respect to those stated outcomes. the lesson plan can provide a valuable frame&or# for the dail" e%ecution of the scheme. )t ma" be that a department delivering a ne& 6o? decides as a team to plan each lesson in the term or half7 terml" se'uence and to revie& it together at #e" opportunities. Core elements of lesson planning are li#el" to include those set out belo&. )n this &a". @rom an Ofsted perspective..o& should things be done ne%t timeH . ?hatever the individual or team focus. )f this is the purpose behind their lesson planning. %#aluating lessons to inform future plans @or each lesson.focusing on group d"namics the" ma" include information related to seating plans and8or intended &or# groupings and so on. as#$ • • • • • • ?hat happenedH ?hat effect did it haveH ?h" did it happenH . ?hatever the purpose and place of the dail" lesson plan it must have an evaluation focus < see the bo% belo&. "ou need to consider short7. Aood planning underpins fle%ibilit" and supports creativit".eflective teachers &ill underta#e this activit" instinctivel". clearl" stated ob4ectives. ?ithin the assessment section of the plan. re7energised and so on. Core elements of lesson planning . such plans provide a teacher &ith structure and securit" &hile giving a solid frame&or# against &hich to positivel" respond to pupils. ong7term planning &ill operate &ithin the frame&or# of the 6o? the team is delivering and &ithin that. streamlined.?ithout assessment and re7evaluation of planning. differentiation strategies and accessible outcomes remain #e" features loo#ed for in an" plan. it can be integrated into the lesson plan. esson plans need to note anticipated outcomes and allo& for the teacher to revie& these against actual outcomes and to then modif" future planning accordingl". it is possible to see ho& relativel" eas" it is for a team to use detailed lesson planning as part of its evaluation process$ to be a short7term dail" programme that contributes in a d"namic &a" to the sum of a teacher-s #no&ledge about the success or other&ise of &hat the" are teaching. "e#ising short!$ medium! and long!term plans ?hen devising lesson plans.o& might the teacher8students have behaved differentl"H . @rom a teaching perspective. but providing a frame&or# &ithin &hich this reflection can be evaluated is a valuable tool in collecting such evidence and an essential &eapon in raising the a&areness of those in the team &ho are less inclined to&ards such reflec7 tion. Lesson plan distilled *lanning becomes more streamlined &ith e%perience. effective teaching cannot be maintained. classroom organisation strategies 0including the use of other adults1 and a range of practical considerations. the" must ensure that the information the" need to support their evaluation process is identified in the lesson plan and can be easil" distilled &hen deciding on ho& the 6o? might be improved. medium7 and long7term plans.o& could it be improvedH .
but not e%clusivel". the procedures section. To develop this &ell.statements such as those in the bo% belo&. esson ob4ectives are often. probabl" identif" no more than t&o for each lesson • . so it is essential that learning ob4ectives are identified at the outset of a lesson. it might be &orth considering some or all of the issues set out belo&.ome&or# < &hen &ill it be setH Does it underpin and develop the lesson-s learning in a meaningful &a"H • 6ub4ect details < including the lesson-s place in the se'uence of the 6o? • earning ob4ectives < concisel" and clearl" e%pressed. is the most detailed section of the lesson plan.evie& of the previous lesson in the series &ith reference to an" ad4ustments made as a result to the current lesson • (ational curriculum8strateg" lin#s • . &rocedures: key issues • 3re the students. The learning outcome is &hat the teacher has decided is the evidence for achievement of the ob4ectives.esources and safet" details < this ma" ta#e the form of a simple chec#list of health and safet" information • *rocedures < details of the lesson concisel" e%pressed 0see the ne%t bo% for more details1 The final item listed.( information and learning st"les audit • 3 seating plan < if the department8school8individual has such a polic" • .ave "ou ta#e account of their vie&sH • ?hat part is information and communications technolog" 0)CT1 pla"ing in the lesson planH . most effectivel" e%pressed in terms of :to. %'amples of learning statements • To identif" and describeI • To describe and e%plainI . ?hat the teacher intends the students should learn is called the learning ob4ectiveG ho& achievement &ill be demonstrated b" pupils is called the learning outcome.ffective learning ta#es place &hen learners understand &hat the" are tr"ing to achieve.o& &ill "ou set the learning ob4ectivesH ?hat time have "ou allo&ed for the plenar"H • 3re the #e" learning points apparentH • )s ne& vocabular" apparentH • 3re differentiated strategies apparentH • )s the use of non7teaching personnel set &ithin the learning conte%t of the lesson and have the" had involvement &ith or seen the planning for this lessonH . @or a learning ob4ective to be effective.activities clearl" e%pressed in sufficient detail for colleagues and observers to follo&H • )s there a clear structure to the lessonH . it needs to be the principle building bloc# on &hich the lesson is built and to be clearl" articulated and easil" evaluated.ffective learning ob4ectives .• Class details < including a register &ith 6. The" become the clear focus for the lesson-s development and a focus for its revie&G a focus that can be understood b" all involved.
teachers need to consider the issue of inclusion < see the bo%. ?hen &e do this. To ma%imise the learning potential of all students.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • To recogniseI To #no&I To &or# &ith othersI To participate inI To e%ploreI To combine and organise To communicate ideasI To generate ideasI To reflect onI To be able toI To planI To consider ho&I To use a rangeI To develop an a&areness b"I )n this &a". 0+very . ?e #no& learning happens most effectivel" &hen. regardless of their background or circumstances. . &hat &e do and &hat &e feel &e can achieve and the direction our life ta#es us in are influenced b" these t&o components. the" should also reflect on previous lesson outlines ma#ing it e%plicit to the students ho& this lesson fits into the developing theme and se'uence. secure and respected &e can var" the activit" gender7specific tas#s are planned for &e can use a range of inter7related s#ills there is a rationale &e clearl" understand &e can measure our success the brain is h"drated. Df.esearch has sho&n that a pupil-s cultural bac#ground.T1. 200B1 To achieve this. To promote opportunities for these things to happen. . &e see there are a range of immutables. their teachers and on ho& the" perceive themselves. esson ob4ectives should be specific. ?hen a teacher identifies the lesson ob4ective0s1. ethnic group. change for children in schools. Teachers too can be influenced b" sociall" prevalent stereot"pes and pre4udices. learning ob4ectives can be developed to incorporate the learning focus for the lesson. have a drin# and so on. measurable. &e are increasingl" loo#ing at &hat promotes effective learning. achievable and time7bonded 06M3.hild -atters.6. &e need to plan brea#s into our lesson plans that allo& for learners to change activit". 6elf7 image and esteem have a profound impact on all of usG our sense of personal &orth. Inclusi#e learning 3s teachers$ We want every child to fulfill their potential. *ractitioners &ho involve too man" ob4ectives &ill be setting themselves up for failure. ph"sical characteristics and gender effect ho& the" are perceived b" their peer group. among other things$ • • • • • • • &e feel safe.
a" Mc/er research report < see the bo% belo&.%plore options and evaluate outcomes *rocess information Convert mista#es into learning . dialogue and discover". language. teachers need to remember to treat ever" student as an individual and never assume the" #no& &hat &or#s for ever" learner in their class. and identif" &h" "ou thin# it is not inclusive before developing strategies to improve inclusion. to have needs met &ithin the mainstream • about seeing difficulties as challenges for the learner in their current environment and not as unalterable problems • about differentiating activities to meet the needs of the learner • helping each learner access all areas of the curriculum • allo&ing ever" learner to build relationships • allo&ing ever" learner the right to initiate ideas and contribute to learning. "ou can 'uite simpl" loo# at the issue of inclusiveness under the headings of attitudes. it might be advanta7 geous for the teacher to invite another adult into the classroom as an observer to give ob4ective feedbac# to inform their future lesson planning. %ffecti#e lessons . Learning opportunities to include in lesson plans • • • • • • • • • Develop en'uir" s#ills *roblem7solve. the ph"sical la"out of the classroom. The important thing is to ensure e'ualit" of access. ph"sical la"out. students are clear about &hat the" are doing and &h" the" are doing it. ?hen planning the lesson. the groupings and settings in &hich the student &or#s and the language.eflect and revie& Use a variet" of learning st"les and approaches Develop social s#ills Ta#e responsibilit" for o&n and other-s learning .esearch and commonsense have sho&n that in classes run b" effective teachers. &here possible.&lanning for inclusion )nclusion is$ • about being part of the setting • about the belief that all learners are individuals and have e'ual rights • about believing that ever" learner has the right. The" include behaviours such as those identified in the previousl" identified . learning ob4ectives and teaching strategies. 3t times. )f b" using an observer "ou discover that "ou are not achieving this. The" feel secure in an interesting and challenging learning environment &here teachers ensure pupils provide a variet" and range of learning opportunities that stimulate thin#ing. the teacher &ill need to consider the differentiation of the tas#s. To encourage these things to ta#e place. Ta#ing account of these fundamental truths &ill constitute a large amount of the &or# that teachers underta#e in relation to their lesson planning. learning ob4ectives and teaching strategies the" use and their attitudes to their pupils. opportunit" and e%perience for all pupils in "our care. both independentl" and in pairs or groups .
as does ever" teacher.understanding 06ource$ A model of teacher effectiveness.teachinge%pertise. )n the hands of s#illed and sensitive professionals.a" Mc/er . development and managing school improvement and curriculum review. independent education consultant.eport for the Department for . long on impact and short on tedium. structure and purpose &ill be tempered b" fle%ibilit" and intuition. enriched b" creativit" and imagination and distilled b" professionalism and the belief that ever" child matters. 2une 20001 #ynn -aidment.esearch .ducation and . .• Convert mista#es into positive learning opportunities The most important thing about lesson planning is that it supports teachers in the dail" search for e%cellence and transformation and for this to happen it must be relevant and purposeful.mplo"ment. http$88&&&. specialises in training.com8articles8secret7successful7lessons7planning7J>2B . (chie#ing effecti#e lessons • • • • • • )nvolve all pupils in the lesson Use differentiation appropriatel" to challenge all pupils in the class Use a variet" of activities or learning methods 3ppl" teaching methods appropriate to the national ob4ectives Use various 'uestioning techni'ues to probe pupils.
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