Sunday, August 11, 2013

Lesson Plans

I need an outlet for some minor venting!

My organization has implemented a new policy where teachers must submit lesson plans to a shared area at the end of the week before the lessons are scheduled.  I'm all for lesson plans; I never walk into the classroom without one.  However, my plan is heavily dependent on

a) the lesson before
b) current events, including information that may be in the news on the day of the lesson
c) feedback from the students (my higher level class is posting to a wiki this year, so I can see feedback between classes)
d) last minute inspiration

I can certainly see a number of benefits that accompany the collecting and sharing of lesson plans. It's always helpful to look over another teacher's approach and take inspiration. I can even imagine good reasons for posting ahead of time. If a teacher is working with a coach or mentor, that person may want to offer suggestions before the teacher takes it into the classroom.  And an administrative benefit would be for substitute teachers -- any help with understanding where the learners are and what they're needing would probably be appreciated.

But what about a lesson where the "text" isn't known until the learners produce it?  And the "target language" is similarly not available until it emerges in the classroom?

I can see an opportunity here for some learning.  And maybe some teaching.  Can I find a compromise that satisfies our administrative requirements?  At the same time, might whatever I document demonstrate some unplugged principles and perhaps inspire someone else?

Still puzzling ...

Meanwhile, I'm planning (yes, there's a plan) a lesson on Thomas Edison soon.  I'm taking a course and am required to produce what is essentially a PPP plan and use  it in class.  Actually, there will be 3 plans when all is said and done.  Here are some pictures I took at Mr. Edison's laboratory in Fort Myers,Florida. How would you use them? (And, by the way, feel free to use them!)

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