Showtime: The Lesson

March 5, 2008 at 5:30 am Leave a comment

LessonPlanBesides relating to the pupils, planning is the single most important aspect of teaching. Teachers plan. As stated in other posts, teachers eat, drink and dream planning. Good planning anticipates events and landmarks that the teacher uses to guide the pupils toward the goal. The wise and experienced teacher allows pupils to think that it was they who chose this course and discover this goal. Good planning eliminates 85% of classroom discipline problems. Poor planning creates frustration and disillusionment about teaching.

Keep in mind the the three sections of a lesson plan. The introduction, the Showtime and the applause. Teaching is very much like acting. The teacher is an artist. Teachers create the atmosphere in the classroom. The teacher must charm the pupil at times, chastise them at other times but always with a genuine concern. The teacher paints a picture. The teacher is dramatic and comic. The teacher puts on a performance each and every day. High School teachers give up to five performances day. Like Broadway plays, the show is live and has an audience. Unlike the Broadway audience who has paid for their seats, the teacher’s audience is filled with a hostile crowd who would rather be somewhere else.

The Introduction is the hook. It is what will capture the classroom audience’s attention and create an interest in today’s show. Motivation is an important factor that seems to have been shelved over the past few years. The pupil has to see the relevancy of the lesson in order for them to become involved. This section should be short. A question, a picture, a few words on the board- the idea is to stir interest and lay the ground work for the lesson. It is vital at this point to have the pupil’s attention. The rest of lesson is lost unless the teacher captures their attention. Teachers must control what happens in the classroom. Control means to be conscious of all activity and direct that activity into the lesson. It all begins here.

Pupils learn by doing. If the teacher’s sole activity is to listen to a monologue, expect the audience to rebel or repose. Attention span is an issue that must be realized before the activity begins. This is part of the anticipation of planning. Each age level has an anticipated attention span. Lecture or direction giving are important parts of teaching because pupils learn to listen and it develops increases in attention span.But… Every thing the teacher does in class should have some purpose and it should be directed toward learning. Thinking about what to do and how to do it: These are all parts of the anticipation teachers need. Following the theme from the last post (From Instrument to Instruction), Scientific methods and its state standard will be one of the driving goals of this class. (Also listening is a constant skill being practiced as is social skill development.) As the students enter the room, two potted plants are on display. The board reads “One plant was grown in light and one was grown in the dark. The seed was planted one week ago. (Remember when so-and-so did such and such.) Which one was in the light? What lead you that answer?”

Introduction has captured students attention. Three purposes are served. 1) The students have some thing to occupy them as they enter the room. (Classroom Management Skill!) 2) Previous learning and activity is tapped. (Learning is a thread. Learning continually builds on previous learning.)and 3) The day’s activity is on display alerting the pupils to today’s lesson.

During this short Introduction period, the teacher can accomplish the paperwork issues such as attendance. (Classroom Management Skill). It is important that teacher do not allow this time to go beyond a few minutes. Too much time results in loss of attention and that results disciplinary problems.

Showtime is the main event. Get the hat and cane! Its “song and dance” time. Following the thread of the plan: As the Introduction phase ends, the teacher points to plant A. Quietly raises his hand. Pupils figure it out and raise their hands. Plant B do likewise. The teacher points to the “What lead you to the answer portion?” The teacher points to someone who had raised their hand for Plant A and Then B. You get the idea. (It’s the teachers decision to try a silent routine).The teacher watches the clock. This phase cannot run too long. It’s purpose is to show that there is a difference of opinion and to allow the expression of thought. (It also helps to reinforce large group social behavior). Notice the teacher has yet to speak a word. At this point the teacher can verbally explain the next activity or, as in this case, hand out a set of instructions and point to the back. Groups having been established earlier and routine for moving from one area to another already established, the students aware of the routine amble to the tables in the back of the room. (Or if the classroom does not have a back of the room, the teacher would have established a routine of turning desk and forming a group circle.) This show is the bulk of the lesson. The teacher must be aware of time. Having planned and anticipated various factors that should occur or could occur, the teacher moves the pupils through the activities expected.

The group is asked to write a single simple sentence to explain how Plant A or B developed the way it did. (Hopefully the language arts teachers have done their job or it’s a good time to interweave subjects together). Then they are to write a paragraph to explain what they would need to do in order to prove that their simple statement is correct. Each student will be responsible for his or her own work but they can discuss and get assistance from the group. They can even as a group design the same statement and paragraph. But each pupil should then turn In their paper. (Accountability is important. IT’S A C.M.S.)!

Time for Applause. The teachers should use whatever established routine for turning in paperwork. For example, one pupil in each team collects papers and turns them in reporting who did not do it! As the pupils take their seats, the teacher has replaced the original questions with the following:

<What do the following terms have to do with today’s work?>

/\/\/\/\Hypothesis? Experiment? Data?/\/\/\/\

Students are called on randomly.For each response, ask class to agree or disagree or modify. After having gone through the three terms, end the class by asking:

<<<<<<< And where do you suppose we go from here?>>>>>>>>

The teacher needs to watch time carefully at this point. Drag out or keep short so that the teacher dismisses the class and not the bell.

The teacher’s mind is assessing his lesson. Did the teacher do what was planned? Were the methods (plants, quiet questions, groups, etc.) effective? What else went well? What else went awry? How can it be improved? Based on these assessments the teacher evaluates the lesson: Good lesson, Needs Improvement, Dump the lesson. Time to move on! There is always tomorrow to think of!


Entry filed under: Classroom Management, Learning, Teachers.

Curriculum: From Instrument to Instruction Homeschooling and California

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