Sunday, August 16, 2015

Finding the rhythm of teaching

I don't know about you but I'm about to begin the 2nd week of the 2015-2016 school year. I can't believe how fast the first week went. I have an amazing group of students and I can't wait to see how they progress as the school year continues.

Getting back to school, though, means getting back into the rhythm of teaching. And one of those rhythms is lesson planning. As I posted on Twitter:

This year, I'm teaching 2 classes that meet every other day for 90 minutes and one that meets every day for 90 minutes. Last year, I taught 1 class that met every day for 90 minutes. Going back to 3 preps is, well, difficult. But as I was writing lesson plans today, I realized that I continually ask myself 5 questions to guide my thinking and my design. They are:

  1. What am I teaching?
  2. Who am I teaching?
  3. How am I teaching this content?
  4. Why am I choosing to teach this?
  5. When will I teach it?
Being able to answer these questions enables me to think about what I'll do to check for understanding, evaluate students' learning, come up with alternate plans, and differentiate lessons and assignments according to student needs. I also find that if I'm unable to answer any of these questions, I must revise the lesson. Getting back into the rhythm of lesson planning is definitely challenging, but I find that my process is getting better and better every year.

Here's to a great school year and excellent, engaging lessons.

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