Lesson Plans for Middle School
One of the most important organizing skills a teacher can develop is creating a workable and effective lesson plan. It is the one tool that will keep the classroom atmosphere moving forward in a consistent and logical way. Each class gives the teacher only a limited amount of time to relate the lesson and the ability to make the best use of that time is an earmark of a good teacher.
Focus on the Purpose of the Lesson
Before a lesson plan can even be started the purpose of the lesson must be clear. A teacher should decide exactly what information should be conveyed to students. This will serve as a foundation on which the teacher will build her lesson. Choosing clear objectives and keeping the format simple enough should be the primary goal of each lesson. Trying to cram too much information into the allotted time can cause some students to be confused and discouraged making them less likely to want to continue.
Allow a Settling Period
Unlike elementary school where students remain in one classroom for the duration of the day, students in Middle School have to move from one class to another. Teachers should allow a period of time for the students to find their seats, take out their materials and turn their attention to the subject. This period could be used to direct their attention to previously written notes on the board or in taking attendance.
Account for the Time
In middle school classroom time is very finite. Teachers should concentrate on making the best use of the time they have. Each step of lesson should be detailed so that they don’t go over time. There should be time left after the completion of each lesson for questions and answers period or to clarify any issues or challenges that a student may raise. This period can also help you in determining how effective the lesson was in dispensing information and lays the groundwork for the next day’s lesson plan.
Make Sure You Have the Materials
Every lesson should include materials. Even if it is just a book and a worksheet, you need to have all of the needed materials prepared ahead of time and ready when class starts. It is easy to forget some items when you don’t have them written down but if you’ve included them and prepared them at the same time as you write the lesson plan you are far less likely of forget them when you’re ready for the class.
Allow for Adjustments
In a classroom setting you will have students of different preparation levels. It is a good idea to have an alternate or back up lesson plan in case your intended lesson is not reaching the students. This could include a different illustration, example, experiment, or some other type of teaching approach so that you are prepared if some of your students are not able to grasp your original plan. Remember, your main purpose is to relay the information of the subject matter. If your students are not getting it one way, an alternate method may be more effective.
With every lesson you should allow enough time to summarize what has been accomplished in each class. This not only helps the students but it helps the teacher as well. This period in your plan should include any clarifications of the subject that you may have noticed were not readily grasped by the students. You should also be able to give the students some ideas or concepts to think about after they have left the class.
When you’ve completed your lesson, it is a good idea to take notes of how well the lesson went and which lessons were more effective. Keep these lesson plans in a file so that you can use them again. Those lessons that didn’t hit their mark so well, should be reviewed after the class and tweaked until you find a formula that works well with your class.
Lesson plans are very dynamic to the classroom environment. It is quite likely that a lesson plan you used in a previous class will not be as effective in another class. Over time you will have a collection of lesson plans that will be interchangeable and you’ll hit on the right mix for each of the classes you need to teach.