By Teachers, For Teachers
Lesson planning is a key element of classroom management in every teacher’s job. It’s essentially the roadmap to what the students need to learn and how the teacher will effectively go about teaching them. From the time a teacher starts his college courses, he is taught how to meticulously use classroom management to plan his time so that students benefit academically and emotionally. Teachers spend countless hours using classroom management to create and perfect lesson plans so their students will be engaged and motivated to learn.
There are a lot of components that go into creating a great lesson plan, such as addressing students’ learning objectives, incorporating engaging activities, and checking for student understanding. Creating a well-written lesson plan like this can take time, which means you must have patience. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to take you hours to create a great lesson. Between the technology that we have today and collaborating with your colleagues, you can get them done much quicker. Here are a few ways to make the most out of lesson planning.
Collaborating with other teachers and/or borrowing lessons from them is one of the simplest ways that you can make lesson planning easy. When you work with another teacher, you will find your lessons gets done much quicker because one teacher can create the science lesson, while another teacher can create the math lesson, then all you have to do is trade.
If you find that you don’t have the time to collaborate with other teachers and/or you don’t want to, then you can borrow a lesson plan. Ask your colleagues to join in and have a lesson plan swap. Each teacher brings a few lesson plans to the party and swaps them for another lesson. Everybody wins!
The easiest and most obvious way to avoid writing out your own lesson plans is to just buy one online. Websites like Teachers Pay Teachers and the Lesson Plan Shop eliminate the hours it takes creating lessons, and most of the lessons you buy are cheap and meticulously written. Why not spend few dollars on a lesson that is aligned with the standards and exceptionally creative and use your extra time for yourself? If buying lessons cuts out some of your time that you can be doing something more to help your students (or yourself), then maybe it’s worth it.
Technology has made it so easy to get your lesson plans done quicker. With just the tap of your finger on a tablet or smartphone, you can create, organize, and map all of your lesson plans. The popular apps Planboard and Lesson Planning make it simple for you to get organized as well as reduce your classroom prep time. Teachers can share their lesson plans with other teachers, which makes it extremely easy to get ideas for future lesson plans.
Instead of spending time writing out a lesson plan, think outside of the box and do something completely different from what you are used to doing. Contact another teacher across the globe and have your students learn from another classroom through a video conference like Skype or Facetime. Invite a guest speaker to come to your classroom and discuss their career with the students. Challenge your students to come up with their own lesson plans. Have them partner up with a classmate and come up with a unique lesson of their own then have them teach it to the class. Get creative and try something that you have never done before. This can be a powerful way to keep your students interested in your class, and it doesn’t hurt that it takes some of the lesson planning away from you.
Templates and rubrics make an educator’s life much easier, because once you create one, you can use it over and over again. When you create a basic lesson plan template, all you have to do is fill it in for each subject, same with a rubric. The ready-to-use format allows you to simply add and edit the contents and elements that you wish.
Whether you build, borrow, buy, or create your own lessons, the ultimate goal is to ensure that students are learning from the lessons. Whatever approach you choose is up to you. The lesson plan doesn’t have to be an exhaustive document of every single detail you plan to do with the students. Nor does it have to explain in detail what or how the students will respond. It just needs to provide you with a general outline of your goals and objectives.
What are your go-to classroom management ways to make lesson planning easier on yourself? Feel free to share with us in the comment section below, we’d love to hear what works for you and your classroom.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.