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Effective Lesson Planning and Design
Transcript of Effective Lesson Planning and Design
By: Timothia Reid
Effective Lesson Planning and Backwards Design
Newman (2013) tells us that the most important elements of effective lesson planning are research to gather knowledge from many resources, developing clear learning objectives that will guide students' learning and are clear to both teacher and students, and a good lesson plan.
Having good, clear learning objectives is critical because they help develop conceptual understanding in cognition (Newman, 2013). In other words they help the teacher visualize what they would like to accomplish while they allow students to understand what they will be able to do at the end of the lesson or unit. Learning objectives should be very specific and not broad. For example, one of the Kindergarten math Common Core State Standards objective under geometry (CCSS.Math.Content.K.G.A.2) wants students to correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations and size. A good learning objective would be students will be able to name a circle. This would be a good learning objective because it specifically says what the student is going to focus on.
Effective Lesson Planning and Backwards Design
According to Newman (2013), a common pitfall in planning effective lessons is that we focus on the learning activities without first thinking about the outcome of the lesson and what we are expecting the students to know at the end of the lesson. To avoid this, teachers should carefully consider what they are teaching first and then after they have the outcome in mind, focus on activities and lessons that will guide them toward the final learning goal. This process is called Backward design planning.
Backward design planning simply means to plan with the end in mind and you begin this type of planning by defining what you want students to learn (Newman, 2013). The Common Core State Standards Initiative provides us with the first step of this type of planning. It outlines what students need to know across the United States. From there teachers break these state standards down into smaller objectives or outcomes that will clearly explain what the student should be able to do at the end of the lesson.
Backwards Design vs. The Traditional Model
Backwards Design Activity- Kindergarten Math (Geometry)
Stage 1: Identifying the desired results
CCSS: Students correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
Learning Outcome: Students will identify a circle, a triangle, and a square.
Stage 2: Assessment Evidence
Students will be able to sort shapes by putting all like shapes together. 15 Objects (5 of each shape) will be placed on a table and students will sort into mats that are labeled with the shape names.
Stage 3: Learning Plan
During the first lesson, three examples will be available for students to see. I will ask the students if they know what these shapes are. As a class we will talk about the three different shapes. Daily activities will include:
Going shape-hunting around the classroom, around the school, and at home.
Find crackers that are in these shapes so they can sort them and afterwards enjoy them as snacks.
If technology is available, do a sorting game on the SmartBoard with the class.
Use a worksheet where students have to sort or match the shapes.
The Traditional Model
The teacher selects the topic to cover.
The teacher develops learning experiences and activities for students to engage in.
An assessment is given.
The teacher determines the results and gives feedback to the class and/or students.
The Backwards Design
The teacher selects the standard(s) to cover and thinks of the learning outcomes.
The teacher develops an assessment to determine how students will show success or mastery at the end of the lesson. Then the teacher develops learning experiences and activities for the students.
The teacher assesses if reteaching is necessary at this point based on student understanding. If this is not necessary, a new standard is selected.
The teacher uses the assessment previously created to assess student understanding. Then the teacher provides feedback.
Newman, R. (2013). Teaching and learning in
the 21st century: Connecting the dots.
San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education,