Do you write daily lesson plans or do you just have an idea in mind and “wing it” for the day? My principal provided us with a lesson plan template that aligns with our teacher evaluation rubric and has the components of a mastery-based teaching environment. I simplified his template to paraphrase what I need under each category.
Lesson Plan Template
What are the components of your lesson? How do you know that your students understand the learning target? Do they know what “mastery” looks like? What about “exceeding”? The teacher knows what we want our students to perform, but does the student know what they need to perform to reach the target? It is vital to “unpack” the learning target with your students, so that the students know the expectations and modeling/demonstrations can be done of each level.
Setting the Lesson
Have you thought about how you would set the lesson? Yes, we all know in our head the set up of the gym in terms of equipment layout, but have you taken the time to think about how this lesson is connected to prior learning, upcoming learning and how it will activate their prior knowledge? Have you thought about the real-world connection of the lesson? Physical Education is all about real-world connections, life skills, character education and lifelong activity– are you making these connections within your lessons on a daily basis?
Now comes the lesson content…. What are the specific teaching points of your lesson? What questions are you going to use to convey those points (to challenge them to think instead of giving them the answers)? How will you model the learning expectations?
Most of us only have a short time with our students, so how will you do all of the “setup” in a short introduction period? There has to be an introduction to the lesson because that is when the activation of student learning begins–just make sure the introduction doesn’t take away from the active learning part (time management!!!).
Finally!!! You can think about the students moving around and practice the learning target! You haven’t forgotten about the learning target, right? It should be addressed a minimum of three times with your students during a lesson to make sure they remember the focus of the day as well. After all, your feedback, questioning, assessment and student reflection are all linked to the learning target, so it really needs to be reinforced multiple times throughout the lesson. How are you going to group your students? Will you give them a couple of options to meet the same target (always a good idea as students learn differently)? What activities do you have planned around the learning target? How will you differentiate activities for the different learning levels? What assessment do you have planned? How do you plan on providing feedback to all of the students (Daily Student Tracking Sheet)?
By now, you are thinking I must teach a 2 hour PE class, but no, my 35 minutes is up and I am ready to bring my kids in for a closing. I will make sure to address the learning target (yes, again!!!) and have the students share their experiences around the learning target and do a quick group assessment (thumbs up/thumbs down) to get a rough idea of where the class thinks their progress is. The students then fill out their end of the class reflections Daily Student Tracking Sheet and off they go to change!
The “cornerstones” section… What opportunities will you provide for student discourse? What will that look like and how will you model it? How will you make sure each child gets feedback? How will students reflect on their progress towards the learning target and set goals for further learning? What plans do you have for your students for the next level? How can you make the education process personalized for each student? How will you make sure each child is engaged?