What Makes A Good Lesson Plan?

July 6, 2011 at 4:55 PM | Posted in Basic Literacy, Teaching, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Nothing can replace knowing your student’s needs, preferences, goals and learning style when it comes to a good lesson plan, but there are some other principles that are also helpful when designing a great lesson.  The Basic Adult Literacy Training Team is in the thick of revising and updating some content and delivery for our fall training.  One section that we are revising is the overview of lesson planning.  So far we have come across some excellent guidelines that we plan to include in our new and improved presentation.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Make goals, objectives and expectations clear and explicit
  • Include strategy instruction; instruction that focuses on how to learn by making thought processes clear and signaling students as to when and how to apply strategies.
  • Scaffold instruction: support students as needed and gradually remove support as students become more independent
  • Make instruction intensive.  Students should be actively engaged in targeted practice with feedback, rather than just passively listening and/or observing
  • Be sure that instruction is structured so that content and skills are broken into manageable pieces and taught in a logical sequence that builds one skill on top of another and ultimately relates to the student’s goal(s)

These principles and more are discussed in Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults: First Steps for Teachers by Susan McShane (National Institute for Literacy: The Partnership for Reading, 2005) which is available in the LCNV library.  Take a look and see if you can find new ways to support your students!

-Molly Chilton, Basic Literacy Tutoring Specialist


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