Do you want to know how to make lesson planning for a teacher evaluation simple with great results?
Great news! I have a template for you that will help you remember all the pieces to a great lesson plan. It’s simple but very effective.
This lesson plan template uses the 6Es.
- Expectations – objectives for the lesson
- Engage – hook your audience
- Examine or explain – model with exemplars
- Explore – give students the opportunity to grapple with the concept
- Enrich and Scaffold – help everyone access the learning at their own level
- Evaluate – what went well, what needs improving
21rst century learning also includes what is called the Four Cs. These are:
- Critical Thinking
If you can incorporate the 6Es and Four Cs into your lessons, you’ve just scored a home run!
I’ll explain how to make lesson planning simple and superb in the next sections. Then I have a free lesson planning template for you.
So let’s get started, shall we?
Steps to the Lesson Planning Process
First of all, you know your students and you know their strengths and weaknesses. Play to their strengths. When you’re being evaluated, keep your objectives and your plans simple. Use routines and procedures that your students already know, and specifically, are successful at doing.
Now let’s dive into how to use the 6Es and the Four Cs.
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Expectations and Objectives for the Lesson Plan
Be mindful and purposeful about your objectives. Don’t try to cram too much into one lesson. One objective is plenty. Likewise, don’t set your expectations for performance too high or too low. Consider the zone of proximal development that’s appropriate for this lesson with this class. Write what the students will be able to do at the end of the lesson. This is also known as SWBAT. Choose only one core objective. You might even need to break down an objective into smaller parts to find the one core thing you want them to be able to do.
For example, in the lower grades, you might be doing a lesson on place value. Now that’s a broad subject and it takes weeks to teach. Then it needs to be revisited frequently. In my experience, place value was one of the toughest areas for students to grasp.
So if your lesson is on place value, you might want to only focus on the value of a number in a certain position. What’s the value of a number in the tens place? In the hundreds or thousands place? That’s a lesson that could be accomplished in one class period.
What materials or lessons do you have available to use right now that will help you meet your objective? Do you need any new materials?
Continuing with the place value example, you probably have a math textbook that covers this. But before you begin your planning, look carefully at the applicable lesson. Does it seem confusing or is it clear? Will you need to introduce the concept in another way that’s more engaging?
You know and I know that just reading about it in the pages of a textbook isn’t going to solidify the concept. So you’ll need an introductory activity to engage the students.
Engage Your Audience
Begin with a hook. As you know, we all learn best when we have something to hang our new information on in our brains.
What type of background information could you use to activate the students’ prior knowledge of the topic? You might consider doing an introductory or mini lesson on the topic prior to your annual evaluation. Then you could refer back to that lesson or activity and get the students ready to learn the next steps.
Depending on your grade level and subject, it could also be something as simple as counting by tens or counting by hundreds. Have the students count with you and then show them how it can be applied to place value. These are just ideas to get you thinking about what you can do in your own class.
But the takeaway for this point is to always have a hook and some prior knowledge you can use to engage your students and begin your lesson.
My friend Kirsten over at The Problem Solving Teacher takes advantage of Halloween to embrace that energy and share some mentor Halloween poems with them. In her post, 8 Deadly Poetry Halloween Writing Prompts to Excite Your Students she shares the ways she engages, explains and uses exemplars, and then allows her students the time to explore some frightfully fun poetry.
Explain and Examine the Concept and Model it With Exemplars
Introduce and model the new material using exemplars. Once you’ve engaged your class, now you can begin the meat of the lesson. You’ll want to choose exemplary models before the lesson to be sure you have clear examples. This part is critical. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of modeling something and realizing it’s not quite right.
Model, model, and model again. Model it in different ways, not just one way, if you can. I like to create interactive lessons. During your second and third models, allow the students to try it out. Let the class begin grappling with the work. Then have them share their work as you watch, to make sure they understand it.
Student Collaboration Strengthens Critical Thinking and Communication
This is a perfect time to have students collaborate. As the students begin to practice the same strategy, technique, or concept they can share their thoughts on the process.
If someone is still a bit fuzzy on the lesson, the other students can help them clarify it. In this way, the students who are helping the others learn are also becoming strong with the concept. Students who are still trying to understand it can benefit from talking it over with a seat mate or group mate. It strengthens their abilities to think critically, communicate, and collaborate.
However, there is an important distinction to make with your students. They might think that talking amongst each other and helping others in the group is cheating. I always made it very clear that in this part of the lesson I wanted them to talk and share. It was not cheating. It was learning together. Sometimes it can take a bit of time to help students with the “learning together” mindset, depending on what their previous teachers have said about it.
Have students share and show their work with the class. This takes a few minutes, no more than 5 minutes maximum, for people to share with the entire class. But it’s valuable.
Ideas for Share and Show
Here’s a little tip I learned from another teacher. As you circulate around the room, find someone or some group who has the correct answer. Tell them in advance that you’d like them to share their answer and the process they used to find it with the class.
When you do the share and show, call on this student or group. It really boosts their confidence. It lets them know how much you value them and their efforts. When they explain it, they usually do it in a way that makes sense to other students.
Just be sure that you aren’t choosing the same students all the time. If no one understands it well, you can make corrections in a way that lets the class know that learning is a process and finding out why something is a mistake can help them get stronger.
Explore – Allow Students the Time and Opportunity to Practice
Now you can allow the students to begin working on their own. You can still be the “guide on the side” and circulate around the room to observe the students and help them as needed.
This is also a great time to take anecdotal notes. Perhaps you see a common misunderstanding. Perhaps you see they are ready to advance to a more difficult level. This is your chance to scaffold or enrich, which is the next part of the lesson planning process.
Exit tickets are another quick assessment you can use. You can use printed exit tickets, or have them write something in their notebook. You can have them write an exit ticket on their personal whiteboards. Exit tickets are also a way to indicate to the students the closure of a lesson.
Enrich and Scaffold to Allow Everyone Access to the Learning at Their Own Level
Will you need to do scaffolding or enriching? Of course you will. You always will need scaffolding and enrichment.
Scaffold to support the students who need it, and provide enrichment for students who need it. Consider both ends of the RTI spectrum when planning your lessons.
Learning is such a messy process with steps forward, steps backward, gains, and losses. Since we know this, write your scaffolds and enrichments into your lesson plan. Make them obvious, in their own separate area. I wrote about seven super effective scaffolds in this post.
If these differentiation pieces require manipulatives or other materials, you’ll be able to get them ready before your observation. You can be guaranteed an administrator or principal will be looking for your methods of differentiation.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”Differentiated teaching provides scaffolds for extra support as well as enrichment for those who are ready. ” quote=”Differentiated teaching provides scaffolds for extra support as well as enrichment for those who are ready. Keep both ends of the RTI spectrum in mind when lesson planning.” theme=”style3″]
Evaluate Your Own Lesson
Even if you’re not having an annual evaluation, it’s good practice to go back and review your lessons. This is one way of growing and expanding your teaching craft and the repertoire in your teacher toolbox.
Ask yourself these questions. What went well? What will you change if you use this lesson plan again? What can you carry forward into future lessons?
You can make a note in your planbook or wherever you keep reminders to yourself.
Free Lesson Planning Template
If this seems like a lot to remember…you’re right! It is.
Eventually, this will become second nature to you as you gain more experience in planning lessons that include the 6Es.
But to help you out, I’ve created a free lesson planning template for you that’s perfect for the lessons you want to do perfectly! You can grab your template for free. Thanks for reading this blog post!
The file is in my Member Vault. I’m happy to share the password with you. Just go to my home page and sign up to get the password in your email!
Want to go even further with this idea? You can grab a free workbook and video course to learn how to