Goal 16: Plan An Engaging Lesson of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

 I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think. – Socrates

Lesson planning is stressful and time-consuming, but is important in giving us an action plan for the entire school year. The way we design our curriculums and the activities we use will determine how successful our learners will be in grasping new knowledge. Lesson design and planning is important. We have our often mandated objectives as the seeds of our curriculum. They act as the vision, goals, and foundation. From the objectives, spring forth activities and ideas. They are the roots of our curriculum. Within the garden of learning is the students’ gained knowledge put into use. We can have very colorful and robust gardens of learning if we plan lessons and activities that support creativity, hands-on and real-world learning. At the same time, I realize that many of us have to ensure students pass tests and achieve learning objectives. The design of our lessons can help us achieve both. However, I realize that many of us lack the time in designing lessons to meet every objective. Luckily, I’ve been connected to 1000s of great educators on social media for the last 3 years and have found various free lesson plans. The idea is we can use some of these great ideas then we will also have the time to design other lessons with enthusiasm versus being burnt out trying to design fantastic lessons for each class. I hope you will find the following tips and resources valuable in the forthcoming school year!  The majority of these lesson plans have a focus on teaching language learners because that is my subject area but many of the resources also have lesson plans for various subjects. Tweak to match the needs of your students. Watch the recording of my recent webinar on this topic here!

A Few Tips …

When planning a lesson, I think we need to keep objectives in mind but there are other factors that make up a great lesson. Anthony Gaughin conducted a fantastic webinar on this topic that you can access here. He talks about a GREAT lesson having these elements:

G- group dynamic

R- relevance to learners’ lives and needs

E-emergent language and ideas focus

A- attentiveness

T- thoughtfulness

To this list I would add flexibility. We need to leave room in our lessons for our students to take the learning where it needs to go. Access his slide presentation here to discover more! We can use Anthony’s thoughts as a basis for designing lessons that engage students.

Templates

Some of us will need a framework from which to build our lessons. Some of us need more structure, while others can map out our ideas. As an experienced teacher, I prefer less framework and I like to map out my lesson. The problem with relying too much on a structured lesson is that it leaves no room for flexibility. However, I could appreciate learning to structure lessons and design them to a tee in order to build confidence and learn what I should prepare for mentally.

Structured Templates:

Another idea:

Map our your lesson plan in a mindmap

More Lesson Planning Tips:

1000s of Free Lesson Plans

Here are a few places to find free lesson plans to teach English in any subject or to any age level! You can also access these in my PearlTree of Bookmarked Sites. The PearlTree will be updated regularly as I come across more lesson plan databases.

Lesson Plan Sites for Other Subject Areas

Bookmarked Resources

Lesson Plan Resources ELT and Teach Meet International Online 2012 in Shelly Sanchez Terrell (shellyterrell)
Every Friday I conduct a Free Webinar thanks to American TESOL. Please check the Livebinder for times, video archives, and more.

The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

As part of The 30 Goals Challenge I would like to inspire you to accomplish these goals:

Short-term- Design at least one lesson plan differently than you have in the past. Incorporate Anthony’s ideas and don’t spend tons of time planning. Instead, focus on jotting your ideas down in a mindmap or in a way that leaves room for your students to take the learning where they want to go. Eventually, you’ll get used to not planning every minute of your lesson and you will find you have much more free time!

Long-term- Make it a habit to map out lessons versus spending tons of time on the template and details of the lesson. Reflect on how implementing these changes helps you grow as an educator. Also, note the impact on your students.

Important News

  • Lisa Dabbs and I have decided to change the hashtag to #30GoalsEdu.
  • This year we are focusing on 1 to 2 goals a week in order to have time to really reflect on the tasks and respond to each other’s posts and enhance our support system for each other.
  • Check out my Pinterests for other posts with this goal or ask me to add yours!

Did you reflect on this goal? Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEDU, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, adding a post to the GooglePlus page, or adding a comment below!

Be inspired with these Inspirational songs, videos, quotes, and more on my Pinterest board, Inspiration for World Changers!

Challenge:

Try any of these lesson plans this year and tell us how it went.

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