Wednesday, March 24, 2010
First, think of lesson planning as a story that will unfold Monday through Friday. Think about the beginning, the middle and the end. I love to start by webbing out ideas and going from last week or last month's observations of task activities that were observed. The power of observation is powerful itself and should be at the forefront of your lesson planning. We'll talk about observations and their importance another day, but know that you shouldn't complete a lesson plan without them.
Let's go back to the beginning. Why are you completing a lesson plan? Are you wanting to make your boss happy, your inspector happy, possibly a co-teacher? You should be planning for your children and yourself. A classroom without a plan is a problem waiting to happen. Have you ever hear the term enabler? By not planning, you are the enabler to complete chaos.
So how do you start? Going back to the webbing. I like to web because it starts with an idea and weaves itself into something bigger. Take for instance the winter theme. Suddenly the winter theme has turned into a whole week about hibernating animals and their environments. Webbing helps you to take an idea and narrow it down into a weekly unit. Then from there, you can web ideas about the animals, science experiments, environment changes, math, literacy, and so on.
The middle should contain your substance. The materials, the changes to the environment (did you know that your room should not look the same from week to week and that Friday should look totally different from Monday), and the presentation and deliverance of your unit to the children.
The end should be what your objective was at the beginning of the week. What did your children learn? Did you set out to accomplish what you wanted when you started this plan? Everything you do in your classroom should have an objective and an outcome. Will it work every time? No! That's the experiment in it all.
There is so much to say about lesson planning and so much more that I will be giving you that I will break this information down into parts. I will also be giving you some different tools to work with when we are finished with all parts of this conversation and in the end I hope that you learn something spectacular about lesson planning in preschool classroom.