I tried two different approaches to lesson planning. In the first, I thought of the topic and wrote the activities. In the second, I wrote the standard (or “be able to” and “understand” class goals for the class standards) and then selected my activities. When I looked at my activities from this first lesson planning way and checked to see if they directly lead to the day’s learning goal, I found that many were not critical. They were interesting, fun, and somewhat related to the standard.
However, when I used the second approach in which I wrote the standard first, the “be able to” and “understand” goals, and then selected an activity, I found myself creating activities that more directly lead to student success in the standard. Once I wrote an activity, I would ask myself “How well does this help the students be successful in this standard?” I found my activities to be much more targeted. In addition, my technology use changed to only doing things that purposely helped the students to be successful. I verified each activity against the test of “Will this activity help the students to do well on the day’s assessment of the standard?” If I answered “No”, then I would write the activity so that they could demonstrate their new learning.
So how do you write your lesson plans?