Three Tools You Can Use to Make Effective Lessons

The skill of writing lesson plans is crucial to running an effective classroom. This is common knowledge I am sure most will agree. The question for the effective teacher then becomes:

What teaching tools are out there to use to make effective lesson plans?

In this post I give you three tools, though there are many others, to do make effective lesson plans.

The first tool is a standard, or objective. Here in my state of California, we have made great inroads toward success by using the state standards framework. The Common Core will be here soon and that is also a great way to map out lessons. The objectives for each grade level have been articulated on aour academic standards website and teachers are free to access them. They are also responsible to teach from them and show results at the end of the school year. Every state and district give guidelines, that are usually online, to teaching everything in your year. Some teachers, despite their availability, decide to “wing it” and reinvent their own standards. This is bad practice. Every teacher is evaluated by district and state standards. Though it sounds simple, make sure you are aligned with these and not your own framework. The importance of standards and objectives is sort of like a target for an archer:

If you aim at nothing you will surely hit nothing. Conversely if you aim at a target, you’ll get close.

Once you decide you lesson’s standard or objective, the next tool is a template. Now, there are only two templates I have used in my career of 10 years:

Madeline Hunter’s 6 step lesson plan, and EDI, Explicit Direct Instruction.

Both are great because they break down the delivery of the lesson into comprehensible input that the kids can “get.” I recommend them both as great ways to write a dynamic lesson plan. Theoretically however, even if you make your own template you will still be in good shape because you are using the too concept and that is really the nature of all tools in teaching. After you have your lesson plan, you can better see what micro-tools you can use like interactive whiteboard lessons.

The third tool you can use in writing a lesson plan is simply: your computer. You can research, find worksheets, and create Power Point presentations just to name a few things. The more you do searches the more you’ll find is out there. With the advent of the Common Core Standards Initiative in California, I am finding searches more fruitful than ever.

Do you have any suggestions and/or tools to suggest for effective lessons? Please join the conversation in the comments below.

Author: Damien Riley

Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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