Strategic Teacher Resources for Lesson Planning
Teachers save time and decrease stress by creating the right kind of lesson plans.
Strategic, time-saving lesson plans streamline effective instruction. (Lesson plans
fail if they march lock-step with a curriculum guide, textbook, or high-stakes testing map of objectives.
Lesson Plan issues you must resolve:
- What works?
- What is for show?
- What has to be turned in?
- What the team teacher or team agrees upon
- What has to be left for the substitute
- What the lessons will be during an evaluation
Except for the first item, “What works,” the other “Important” considerations have little to do with instruction.
Requirements for a “What Works” lesson plan (saves time, effective)
Tailoring a “What Works” Lesson Planning System to your students’ needs.
- It maps to a yearly plan – so nothing is left out
- Automated – so you don’t waste time copying
- It motivates students and focuses upon individual learning styles
- Easy to reference and refer to
- Easy to find what you need, easy to change course, easy to evaluate
Lesson Management System
Without a lesson planning and management system in place, instruction remains “Hit-and-Miss .”
And this system needs to include a “big picture” view…a yearly plan.
Then, the lesson planning system can focus upon keeping students engaged in high-quality learning experiences.
- Thematic Units (planned for the school year)
- Daily Oral Language (DOL)
- Daily Oral Vocabulary (DOV)
- Daily Oral Math (DOM)
- Drop Everything and Read/ Sustained Silent Reading (DEAR/ SSR)
- Graphic Organizers
- Integrated Higher-Order Thinking…In the form or questioning and student project assignments
- Integrated Thinking for Test-Taking
- Relevant to the Thematic Unit; i.e., not isolated activity
- Includes Engaging, Collaborative Student Projects
We recommend a generic project strategy that promotes Higher-Order Thinking and Multiple Intelligences
Lesson Planning Forms
The ideal Lesson Plan Form…
- Can be automated
- Mail Merge a plus
- Can be updated with a spreadsheet or database
- Can be worked on by collaborators or members of an instructional team
- Can be submitted electronically
- Can be viewed for instant information (During class, you don’t have time to read it)
- Reminds you of the positive instructional habits that you are developing
- “Oversteps” the boundaries of subjects
- Includes math in every lesson
- Includes reading in every lesson
- Includes problem-solving in every lesson
- Includes decision-making in every lesson
- Includes a graphic organizer in every lesson
- Includes Multiple Intelligences in every lesson
- Connects to your thematic units in at least one (maybe more) ways
A Lesson Plan we Don’t Recommend
Years ago, I developed an Access™ database that would merge with the lesson plan that was required on the campus where my wife worked.
This worked, but it took about an hour a week to keep the database updated. It also produced about a nine-page lesson plan.
I call this the “”All but the Kitchen Sink”” Lesson Plan.
We don’t recommend this lesson plan format for daily use for the same reason that you don’t go through a driver’s checklist similar to a commercial pilot’s pre-flight checklist before you drive to the grocery store. (If you used a pre-flight-style checklist you would be late for work every day.)
However, this lesson plan has some uses:
- Use at the beginning of the year for overall planning
- Use in a College Class presentation when studying for your Master’s Degree
- Revenge for that certain substitute who leaves your room a mess, and you have to re-do all the assignments for the day you were out
Download of the not-recommended Lesson Plan Form
Download recommended Lesson Planning forms:
Lesson Plan Sample Turn-in Form (PDF Format)
Although we believe that our strategy of creating modules and automating lesson planning is quicker and more efficient, we are providing links to some of the most used lesson planning sites on the Internet. Check these out, and decide for yourself if our method saves you time.
Links to other Lesson Planning Resources on the Web. (Each opens in its own window)
- A to Z Teacher Stuff
- Environmental Protection Agency Lesson Plans
- Gateway to Educational Materials
- Lesson Plan Page
- PBS Teacher Line
- Scholastic Lesson Plans
- TeachNet Lesson Plans
- U.S. Geological Survey (Primary Grades)
- U.S. Geological Survey (Secondary Grades)
Lesson Planning Documents