How to Plan for Effective Teaching

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For the novice teacher, planning a lesson for effective teaching can be a challenging and difficult exercise with many different angles and perspectives. The lesson plan provides the road map through the teaching period, and helps the teacher to stay on course both in achieving the learning outcomes and in managing the allotted time. Experienced teachers may carry plans in their heads, but for student teachers a detailed written plan that highlights what is to be taught and why it is to be taught gives confidence and ensures an effective teaching and learning experience.

State your objective at the beginning of the lesson plan. Decide what the pupils are to learn during the course of the lesson, and how the learning objectives will be demonstrated. Ask what the students will be able to do at the end of the lesson that they could not do at the beginning. Express the statement of objectives by writing from the pupil's learning viewpoint, such as, "By the end of the lesson students will be able to ...", filling in the blanks with the purpose of the lesson.

Decide which parts of the lesson will be teacher directed, and how the teacher's input will be presented. Take into account different learning methods and provide visual input in the way of pictures or diagrams and written directions or examples, as well as verbal direction. Effective teaching must take into account how students of all levels of ability will be helped to store the information in their long-term memory.

Maximize student learning by planning tasks and activities. These allow students to demonstrate understanding of the lesson and help them to apply critical or creative thinking.

Plan how the student's progress will be monitored during the lesson. Effective teaching takes into account the abilities of all students in the class, so constant monitoring of progress and the ability to spot and address any difficulties that may arise is important. Monitoring may take the form of observation during tasks given, or through question and answer sessions.

Plan a short review session at the end of the teaching period where the information and tasks of the lesson can be revised. As a whole group students can discuss with the teacher what they did, how they did it, and how it relates to the wider world. (ref 1)

Deborah Jones started her freelance writing career in 1990. Her work has appeared in The Writer's Forum, "Reader's Digest" and numerous D.C. Thomson magazines. Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a postgraduate certificate in education, both from the University of Derby.