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Home : 2003 : Jan : 7

    lesson plans a must
    By sj

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    for me. I spend many hours at the beginning of the year making a Year Plan, with the objectives and concepts, topics, or stories that I plan to teach each week, trying to make sure all objectives will be covered and introduced in some sort of logical or sequential manner. I've written my plans on the computer for the past several years, just setting up a table and copying the master to a new document each week, saving by date and main topic. Like the other savers, I find this to be a great resource in later years--especially now that I have them on computer, I can just search and find my topics so easily. Since my schedule and special things change throughout the year, my table/template will also change as needed. Since Texas has made such a push to cover all of the objectives and to retain children who can't pass state tests, I have started writing the state objective numbers after each entry in my plans. At first this was a real pain, but I found that it acutally turned out to be an excellent training for learning exactly what my objectives are. I believe that I am much better at including things that I might have left out in the course of teaching because I do know my objectives better. I usually look at my plans at the first and last of the day, and occassionally to check for a page number or other specific detail. I don't feel bound by the plans, and give myself the freedom to go with the flow if the lesson leads....but with plans I know I won't stray too far for too long. Unless you are following a textbook or other pre-planned series or routing, I would question whether or not a person could keep in mind where they were going, what they had covered, and what hadn't been addressed without some sort of reference. I probably go to the extreme in detailing my plans, but I have had a few weeks when they just didn't get made. Those have never been weeks that I would count as my most effective. I think you can be an excellent teacher without lesson plans, but don't see how having them could do anything but make you even better. (The clearer the target, the more precise the hit.)

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