There is much more to teaching than simply being in front of a group of students and lecturing at the podium. The teaching part is actually the end product that comes right before the grading. However, there has to be some serious time put in for the preparation of a lesson. In fact, the amount of time spent on preparation may exceed how long the lesson lasts in the class. As a way to simplify lesson planning, here is your go-to checklist that you can use for any subject or topic. By using this lesson planning checklist, you can be well prepared and perhaps even cut down on the time needed in preparation.

What Is the Reason for the Lesson?

There has to be a reason that you are teaching this lesson to the kids. What is it exactly that you want to achieve? Start with the purpose of the lesson and then build a plan from there. You must have an objective otherwise it is just busy work for all involved.

Associate it with the Core Standards

No matter the country, there always seems to be core standards that have to be associated with each lesson you are teaching in the classroom. This mandatory requirement often comes down from government agencies and is to be put in place by all public school districts across. In every lesson plan I have presented, I have always needed to include a few of the standards into it for administration to verify that I am aware of what the students need to be learning. Instead of writing out the entire standard or two, just put down the abbreviation for it such as 2C or W7. It will save you a few minutes in the long run.

Make Connections

There is a very good chance that this lesson will be similar to something that has been covered before. This is your chance to make a connection with the students to previous content covered. If you are teaching a Language Arts class and reading a book dealing with certain issues, you might be able to relate this to another book later on or even a completely different subject area.

List Anything Extra You Will Need for the Lesson

If your lesson will require things that you don’t normally use, be sure to list them. It will save you time when you have to present the lesson. For instance, do you need to use the overhead projector? Do you need markers or posterboard? Will you have to turn on the Smart Board for the lesson? Having these things prepared ahead of time will make things run smoothly with less downtime for the kids to get in trouble and lose interest.

What Will the Assignment Be?

How are you going to assess how well the students have learned the lesson? You need to figure out the degree to how they comprehended the material. For example, you could give them a fill-in-the-blank sheet to fill out on the topic or maybe have them even put together their own presentation on the lesson after doing a bit of extra required reading on the subject. Whatever the assignment, this will be used for determining what the students earned for their grade.

Accommodations Needed for Gifted Students or Those with Disabilities

You always have to make accommodations for those students that struggle or those that are extremely gifted. The normal lesson might be good for the majority of your students, but there will be a percentage that will need some minor changes here and there to either make it easier or more difficult. Include these in every lesson plan so you don’t have to brainstorm in the middle of the lesson on how to adjust it correctly for everyone.

Summarize What the Students Have Learned at the End

Students might be learning something without even realizing it. They have the ability to tune things out enough so when their parents ask them what they have learned at the end of the day, they simply reply with “nothing”. By taking the chance to summarize the lesson at the very end in just a minute or two, you may be able to help them focus on the importance of the lesson and what they have learned on the topic.

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