Week 13 Blog #5: What Makes a Lesson Succeed?
There are many different components that makes a lesson succeed, and when used properly, you can have an outstanding lesson that will leave your students wanting to learn more. In order to have an outstanding lesson, I fell that it is best to get the day started or transition a lesson with a bell ringer. This will get the class engaged in a “short exercise” or a warm up that “students will complete while the instructor attends to attendance and other administrative chores” (Finley, 2013.) This will allow the students to begin thinking about the day’s lesson without interfering with the mundane tasks that teachers need to complete. This will not only get the students thinking and the teachers to complete his/her task but it will make the day run more smoothly and be affective. The teacher should use a variety of bell ringers in order for the students to not get bored with their daily warm ups.
In order to document the bell ringers and other assignments that the teacher want to use and when; they can write it down on lesson plan template. There are many different styles of lesson plans for teachers to use, the two main ones that are used today are Madeline Hunter’s and the 5E’s model. The Madeline Hunter’s lesson plans incorporates objectives, input, modeling, checking for understanding, guided/monitoring practice, and independent practice (Hunter, 1991.) Although this is a great lesson plan and makes sure that all the students are meeting the learning requirements; “it has been criticized that she focused too much on teacher directed behavior, and not enough on whether the teacher helped students become self-directed learners” (Goldstein, 2014.) It is important for teachers to be careful that they are not talking too much and that the students will be involved in the teaching and learning. The “5E model” includes engage, explore, explain, extend (or elaborate,) and evaluate (Dunbar, 2012.) This is also a great lesson plan for teachers to put ideas on what the students are going to learn and it is really student based where students are teaching and learning from each other and the teachers guides them and makes sure they are on the right track. I do not believe that there is one right lesson plan. I believe that as a teacher; you need to do what is right for your class because you may need to change your lesson plan template until it best suits your class. Teachers need to remember that what may have worked for you and your class one year, may not work for you class the next year.
In order to make sure that your lesson plan is at its ultimate best, teachers need to include some higher level thinking from Bloom’s Taxonomy into their lesson plans. The Bloom’s taxonomy includes remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. These steps go from low to high level of thinking. We do not want kids to simply memorize facts and pass tests, we want them to think deeper in order to better understand the material. There has been some criticism about the “Bloom’s Taxonomy has limitations when it comes to developing critical think curriculum (Paul, 1985.) He goes on to say that, “the single most useful thing a teacher can do is to take at least one well-designed college course in critical thinking, in which the teachers own thinking skills are analyzed and nurtured in a variety of ways (Paul, 1985.) I believe that it is crucial that teachers go to professional development workshops as much as they can in order to better themselves as teachers in order for students to better learn.
I also believe that teachers should know about all these different lesson plans and strategies in order to find out what works best for their class. You may use only one technique or a combination, but being knowledgeable of them is the first step in instructing a great lesson, but most importantly we need to consider the child as a whole. Nel Noddings writes in her article that, “teachers need to address moral, social, emotional, and aesthetic questions with respect and sensitivity as they arise (Noddings, 2005.) and “we must allow teachers and students to interact as whole persons, and we must develop policies that treat the school as a whole community” (Noddings, 2005.) I believe that this is the most important thing that we need to remember as we write our lesson plans and incorporate all of these aspects throughout the day. We need to meet all of the students’ needs, pick a lesson plan that is best for your classroom, involve different higher level thinking skills when possible, and remember the student as a whole. This will not only help you have a well runned classroom, but you will have great thinkers and learners who will succeed.
Bell Ringer Exercises. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2015, from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/bell-ringer-exercises-todd-finley
Dunbar, B. (2012, February 24). 5Es Overview: “The 5E instructional model” Retrieved November 17, 2015, from http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/nasaeclips/5eteachingmodels/#backtoTop
Goldstein, D. (2014). The teacher wars: A history of America’s most embattled profession. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Hunter, M. (n.d.). Hunter Lesson Design Helps Achieve the Goals of Science Instruction. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
Membership. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2015, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept05/vol63/num01/What-Does-It-Mean-to-Educate-the-Whole-Child%C2%A2.aspx
Paul, R. (1985). Bloom’s taxonomy and critical thinking instruction. Educational Leadership, 42(8), 36-39. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.com/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_198505_paul.pdf