As an English teacher, I'll give you an overview of how I started planning lessons and how it has evolved.
First of all, please note that I don't like following textbooks lesson by lesson so I end up creating my own lessons (even though I sometimes use textbooks as a guide or resource for the students).
When I first started planning lessons, I used a lesson plan form that helped my organize my thoughts and plan my day. So, on the form I listed all of the goals for the day, skills to be taught, etc. I then outline each activity with the approximate time it would take to do it, what materials would be needed for each activity and how the students would demonstrate their new skills/knowledge.
This was a great help to me because I had everything down on paper and knew exactly what to do next and what materials to set out for the day.
Especially as a new teacher this was a great help because it was almost like a script to help me make sure I covered everything I wanted to cover.
As my teaching and lesson planning evolved, I got to the point that I would be able to write the basic activities into my calendar because I knew the activities and had a better sense of what would work and how long each activity would take.
Sometimes, though, when I design a new activity I go back to the lesson plan form to, once again, get my ideas down on paper so that I can visually see what I will be doing during that time. Other times, I just throw together a new activity based on what I know works and what the students respond to at the spur of the moment because I've found an idea that I want to try.
Here are a few do's to help you get started.
Do plan more than you think you'll get through. You can always cut something out or move it to another day if you want. Filling empty time at the end of a class period is sometimes difficult.
Do build an extra day or two into your semester or term because there will be interruptions to your schedule whether it's a school assembly or simply needing more time than you anticipated to finish a project or unit.
Do remember to have fun with your students. If a lesson seems boring to you it will probably be exponentially more boring to your students.
I hope this helps you!
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