The English Classroom

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR PRESERVICE TEACHERS

The Situation

You are finding it difficult to structure your lessons.

The Solution

When I first started teaching, it took some time to figure out the narrative to my lessons. Sometime later, I realised that a lesson is much like a story. It can go many different ways and may wind up in a different space than what you had expected.

To help discover the narrative, I put together this grid, which has helped me visual all the individual parts to my lesson and encouraged me to problem-solve moving from one section to another.

In other sections of this website, you will find information each part of the lesson design.

How to implement
Mental Set: hook into the lesson/ starter activityVisual Representation, Capture the essence of the lesson. Present a purpose for learning.Create a link to the learning.As students enter the classroom, provide them with a task to complete to get them into a frame for learning.Journal Writing, Spelling, Vocabulary (Anagrams, language features)
Learning IntentionsDiscussion with students about what they are learning, not what they are doing. Learning surrounds ‘Know’, ‘understand’ or ‘be able to’.Unpack the important vocabulary of the lesson. 
Success CriteriaMake explicit what will be expected of the students throughout and at the end of the lesson.Cooperative Learning Task to evaluate Learning Intentions.Students articulate and write their own success criteria.
Review of Prior KnowledgeAsk questions, set activity that recalls prior knowledge.Cooperative Learning task to see what students understand.“Previously, we have discovered…” 
Reviewing relevant vocabularyPresent relevant vocabulary for learning. Provide learning activity to stimulate vocabularyKagan Cooperative Activity to enrich learning
Modelling – I do!Instructional Strategies used to model new informationGraphic Organizers to model and explore new ideas.Present new information/content.Provide reading prompts. Steps provided as a scaffold, examples provided.Information presented visually. Short and purposeful. 
Check for Understanding – Cooperative Task – We do!Complete cooperative learning task to see whether students understand the learning. Challenge/correct misconceptions
Independent Learning – You do!The learning challenge students to extend and refine knowledge. The learning challenges students to experiment, and think about learning.Students seek appropriate feedback while completing task. 
PlenaryBring the lesson to a conclusion by reviewing and clarifying the key points. Student feedback to peers.  Reviewing the narrative of the lesson. Marking the success criteria. What has been achieved? What is next?  

Additional aspects to consider during lesson

Brain Breaks5 min brain breaks to stimulate curiosity and engage students in learning and participation. 
Team Building/Class BuildingActivities to promote positive interactions between students and participation in the classroom. 
MusicPlay music to stimulate students’ curiosity. This could be as students enter the classroom. 

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