My Math Class Weblog

August 22, 2008

How I Lesson Plan Part 1

My first four years I think I wrote one lesson plan. Every day I taught was a last minute struggle.  Don’t get me wrong, I always covered all of the material by the end of the school year, but I definitely wasn’t as efficient as I should have been. The main problem was that I was not as organized as I needed to be.  Throughout the years, I have improved in my teacher organization and I have experienced the benefits. But if you’re not an organized teacher, but would like to be, I decided to write out how I lesson plan.

First I start off deciding which topics I will cover.  The decisions I make involve the order they fall in, how long I will spend, and what subtopics will be covered.  I did all of this on a paper calendar for which I have already penciled in the school holidays and any sub days I know in advance I will be attending.   This year I have started that process with Google Calendar.  I did this because you can’t lose Google Calendar like you can lose papers.  Google Calendar is also easily updated and because I work on several different computers in a day, I can keep track and have readily accessible calendar information.  Thankfully, my district put together a pacing calendar for each subject and it allows me not to have to reinvent the wheel.

I plan grading cycles at a time. No need to plan for a week when you can plan for six.  It takes me about 90 minutes to plan out each prep for a cycle. Once I have that. Then come the nitty gritty. The questions I ask myself is “What am I going to use and have the students do so that they can learn the concepts in the time frame that I have given them?”.  Then my weekend beforehand is set aside to making those decisions. Its 1:14 am and I’m sleepy so I’m not going to be able to finish this post. But I’ll pick it up later, I promise.

Here is what I’ve done for the first six weeks in Algebra 2A and Geometry.

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