Streamline lesson planning with an editable Elementary Lesson Plan template. This simple, yet effective template will guide you through the four key elements of an effective lesson.
Prior to developing your lesson plan, consider what teaching and classroom strategies will work best with the topic. By pairing the right teaching strategies in your lesson plan will improve your chances of successful learning.
Students optimize their learning potential within inviting, positive learning environments. Set routines and procedures in your classroom that hold students to high expectations. Build caring student/teacher relationships and a supportive classroom community to provide students with a sense of consistency and safety.
In today’s schools, the success of our students’ learning relies not only on providing academics, but also a safe emotional environment. Practicing mindfulness in the classroom gives students permission to pause, breathe, and take a break in the classroom.
Providing mindful breaks is a wonderful way to implement calming, thoughtful, mindful activities to help your students prepare to learn and focus throughout the school day. Mindful breaks can include: journaling, movement, energizers, breathing, or practicing affirmations.
Our definition of student engagement goes beyond maintaining students’ compliant, on-task behavior. To create classroom engagement, you should foster the students’ ability to be engaged and invested in their own learning at behavioral, emotional, and cognitive levels. For example, you may consider a regular morning meetings.
As a teacher, greeting your students in the morning is a simple practice that will have a huge impact. Greeting students at the door makes them feel welcome and safe the moment they arrive at school. (See Morning Meeting ideas) It also helps build individual relationships with each student and sets a positive tone for the day. A simple greeting with students can turn into a quick chit-chat about how students are feeling or any news they want to share with you. This is a great way to build strong connections with each student.
You may also like: Student-Led Morning Meetings
Student engagement and classroom management go hand in hand. Students who are engaged in their learning tend to have fewer management issues. Use effective classroom management tips techniques to help sustain an orderly classroom environment, facilitate meaningful academic learning, and support social emotional growth.
Students learn in a variety of ways. Just as they need a balanced diet, they also need a balance of instructional delivery methods. Provide a variety of instructional strategies to deliver content. Include opportunities for students to collaborate with peers, to use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic channels, and to include reading, writing, and speaking as a basis for their sense-making. Above all, instruction should be interactive, meaning students provide visible evidence throughout the instruction that shows they are doing the learning.
5. REPEATED EXPOSURE
Max Bell, of Everyday Mathematics, said that if teachers give children an opportunity to forget something, they will. Repeated exposures to content will snowball over time and help students retain information for long-term learning. Within a lesson, across a unit, and throughout a school-year, revisit topics repeatedly, using a variety of methods.
Rigor and difficulty are not synonymous. Rigorous activities require students to think deeply rather than memorize or recall information. Include academically rigorous learning experiences that challenge students to develop and utilize critical thinking skills that can be applied in different contexts throughout their lives.
Authentic learning experiences give students a relevant context for their learning where they apply newly acquired skills in real-world applications. This is often accomplished as learning processes and products span across more than one discipline. Plan meaningful learning activities that require students to use critical and creative thinking skills outside of the classroom context.
By focusing on these 7 essential strategies, teachers can effectively supply core content that includes what students should learn and why they should learn it, while also supporting students in the process of how to learn, which foster life-long skills for success.
Four key elements should always be present in an effective elementary lesson plan. We believe the quality of any lesson plan truly matters as it directly affects the teacher’s efficiency in delivering the content. It also affects how deeply the students will learn the content. Teachers can greatly improve their lesson planning skills by targeting these four key elements.
First, it is important to ask- What is the goal of this specific lesson? Consider what students will know and be able to do by the end of the lesson. When planning a lesson, write down the goal as the lesson objective or learning target in student-friendly terminology. Then be sure to share the objective or target with students at the beginning of the lesson and refer back to it throughout the lesson.
How will you set the stage for the learning that will occur? The anticipatory set, sometimes referred to as the lesson hook, is a short activity aligned with the lesson objective that captures students’ interest or primes their brains to recall prior knowledge related to the lesson.
How will you provide appropriately scaffolded instruction that guides students toward independence and mastery of the skill or content? One easy way we like to encompass this gradual release is through the “I Do, We Do, You Do” model.
I Do- ‘Direct Instruction’
In this portion of the lesson, the teacher models and provides direct instruction for the students. The teacher explicitly explains what students need to know, showing them exactly how to do whatever is required to successfully obtain the objective or learning target.
We Do- ‘Scaffolded Student Practice’
This is a crucial step in the lesson and should not be skipped! The teacher and students practice the steps, tasks or skills together. During this time, the teacher gradually releases more and more responsibility for learning to the students. The teacher also provides feedback along the way that directs students to refer back to the objective or learning target.
You Do- ‘Demonstration of Learning’
In this portion of the lesson, students perform the steps, task or skill independently to demonstrate their level of mastery towards the lesson objective or learning target. The teacher monitors mastery, checks for understanding, and continues to offer feedback to students.
Don’t leave a lesson hanging! Consider how you will bring closure to the lesson. How will you wrap up the lesson so students are given a chance to revisit the learning target or lesson objective, consolidate learning, and/or make meaning of the work they have just encountered? The students are the ones doing this thinking while the teacher takes on a facilitative role. The lesson closure also provides a good opportunity to collect formative assessment data that informs the teacher in making instructional decisions about upcoming lessons.
8 TIPS FOR AN EASY LESSON PLAN
Here are 8 top tips to write simple and easy lesson plans. Lesson planning can save precious time and energy… possibly even giving teachers their nights and weekends back!
READ ALOUD LESSON PLANS
Are you wondering what to include in a read aloud lesson plan? There’s so much that can be included that it might seem overwhelming. Interactive Read-alouds should include text dependent questions, standards-based graphic organizers, and response to text writing activities that meet the standards.
3-Day Lesson Plan Template to Meet the Standards
By spanning read-aloud lessons across three days, teachers have time to incorporate all the necessary components while also conquering the standards.
Before beginning to plan a read aloud lesson, you will need to select a story that is complex enough to revisit over three days. During the 3-day span, you will read the book for a different purpose each day.
Using your read-aloud time to infuse core standards will help you read with a purpose. Most standards are met by asking text dependent questions. You can also incorporate speaking and listening strategies while questioning by having the students discuss the questions with partners. You can learn more about other discussion strategies and accountable talk in the classroom here.
Here are some effective ways to meet core standards during read-aloud lessons:
What are text dependent questions?
Simply said, text dependent questions are those which can only be answered using evidence from the text. These types of questions are critical in a read-aloud lesson because they require students to read and reread the text in order to answer the question successfully.
To write text dependent questions, you need to consult your ELA comprehension standards. We typically refer to the Common Core ELA Literature and Informational Text standards and use question stems that target standards from each section (Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas).
Text dependent questions should be asked over the course of three days. Questions for the first lesson will focus on key ideas and details from the story. Focus on the craft and structure for the second lesson and the final lesson will focus on integration of knowledge and ideas. You can learn more about how we use text dependent questions here.
Completing Standard Based Graphic Organizers
For each day of the read aloud lesson, students complete a graphic organizer after the focused discussion on text dependent questions. The graphic organizer should cover the same standards as the text dependent questions on each day. For the first lesson graphic organizers should help students focus on key ideas and details of the text, craft and structure is the focus for the second lesson, and graphic organizers that target integration of knowledge and ideas are used during the final lesson.
Wrapping it up with Writing
On the final day of a read aloud lesson, assign a response to text writing activity. This activity should incorporate writing standards in a meaningful way as students are asked to synthesize their learning over the span of the lessons.
We believe a strong classroom community starts the foundation for learning. We are passionate about helping teachers build a positive environment where students thrive. You can find helpful, popular classroom community resources here.
We also believe students are capable of doing hard things with perseverance and a growth mindset. We create rigorous lessons for kids that are carefully scaffolded. We provide teachers helpful, detailed instructions and examples of how to execute all of our lessons with students. You can find in-depth read-aloud lessons and paired text lessons here.
We believe digital resources are absolutely essential for today’s students. We are currently working hard to meet the demand for technology in the classroom. We have combined our expertise in literacy and technology to create digital lesson plans. Check out our most popular resource line Digital Learning Quests.
There are three fundamental elements to consider when providing effective distance learning instruction. While these fundamentals are also used during in-person lesson planning, the execution will look different for digital learning.
When creating lesson plans specifically designed for distance learning, it is important to keep these elements and instructional practices in mind. Let’s examine how these key components and related instructional ideas apply to distance learning in elementary classrooms.