Lesson preparation

Discussion about teaching ESL to children

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Lesson preparation

Unread post by LauraBlue » 28 Mar 2006, 07:30

Hi there! :D

I'm learning to become a teacher in English. I would like to ask you (if you are a teacher) a few questions concerning lesson preparation. I would be very grateful if you would take some time to answer these questions.

How do you prepare your lessons?
How much time do you invest in it?
How much of the preparation do you put on paper?
Do you use lesson plan forms?
What is your opinion on lesson preparation?
Will preparation become different once one becomes experienced? (What's your opinion, or experience?)
Can you offer me a few do's and don'ts?

Thanks a lot!!! ;)

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Unread post by ForumAngel » 26 Aug 2006, 18:13

Hi Laura,

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!

Kind regards
Free games and ideas to make teaching children more fun. Receive free games here: http://www.teachingenglishgames.com

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Re: Lesson preparation

Unread post by petershell » 16 Sep 2010, 13:30

Hi Laura,
I do zero preparation (unless I am starting a new book) for most classes although that has not always been the case.
In the beginning and before I found my way I spent about an hour preparing for 5 classes.
I rarely made notes as my lessons were all designed around textbooks.
I looked over the lessons and decided what would be the best way to teach it.
I then went and did what I thought was best and evolved naturally from there.
I think it's very important to feel out each class and your approach will develop from that.
So many teachers are so anti textbooks but I love them and my students do too.
I find that in classes where the teachers don't like the book the students don't like the books either
There are great materials out there and so much that you can do with them.
There are some I'd like to recommend here: http://www.monkeyface-esl.com
I'd suggest getting good materials for each class and coming up with a teaching formula that you can apply again and again.
I don't mean each lesson should be identical but the formula can be the same and the components should be varied. Obviously a variety of activities is required.
I find that so much of the happiness, enjoyment and light in the classroom comes from the kids and it just keeps echoing through the lessons if directed well.
They are my inspiration and I get a lot of spontaneous ideas from them.
Happy teaching!

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Joined: 05 Feb 2011, 01:36
Status: Trainee Teacher

Re: Lesson preparation

Unread post by enirak » 03 Mar 2011, 14:42

I am also studying to become an english teacher and I have done 2 practicums yet. Your posts are very interesting and from my little experience of teaching, I can tell you that preparation is very important. When I have to plan activities in my practicum, I have to complete a chart with the reason why I do this activity, what materials I need, what I expect students to do, and also very important, what is my plan B. I think that having a plan B is necessary because you might have time left after your lesson or maybe the students will be bad in class and you will have to stop your lesson and give them something boring to do. A good trick that my teacher told me to do is to announce at the beginning of the class what is the planning of the class and inform students you have a plan B, for example translation, if they are not nice.

And I also want to add that I've seen a teacher who doesn't use textbooks. She creates all her materials, but since she has 20 years of experience, almost everything is ready because she reuse the same handouts. She told me that every year she changes some of them, but still, her favorite activities are used every years.

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