Planning a Class
If you've ever given a formal presentation on a topic, you've probably done some kind of planning. You may have considered who your audience was and gathered information to meet their needs and interests. Or, you may have considered your own objective and worked to meet this goal. Either way, you probably spent more time gathering and arranging information than you did actually presenting it. Your confidence and ability to present may have also depended on the plan you created.
Planning a class presents similar challenges. Sure, we've all known the instructor who can "wing-it" and still amaze us with their infinite wit and wisdom. But many of us feel that we are not that instructor. In fact, some readers of this guide may be teaching a writing course for the first time. If so, you're probably beginning to realize that planning can be the most challenging part of teaching.
This guide will help you construct successful lesson plans. First, we'll review some effective strategies and techniques. Since there are many factors to consider when planning a class, this chapter is broken down into six different sections. If you are reading this for the first time, is useful to look at all six sections, as each one builds off the one before. In the future, you may decide to only reference the section that serves your immediate purposes.
Guidelines for planning an effective class are:
Using Goals to Shape a Lesson
Planning transitions, planning introductions, planning conclusions, planning classroom discussions.
- Creating Write to Learn Activities
Planning Group Activities
Reflecting on lessons.
- Citation Information
How This Guide Can Help
Begin planning a lesson by considering your goals. In addition to keeping in mind the overall goals for the course, consider the specific goals for that lesson. Ask yourself what you want your students to gain most from the lesson. Often, you'll come up with a list of two or three goals for the class. A successful lesson will combine various goals into a cohesive plan.
Let's say the goals in the syllabus for one class include Discussing and Practicing Critical Reading and Exploring How Purpose, Audience , and Context Influence a Writer's Choices . Lately, however, you've noticed small puddles of drool on your students' desks, a sure sign that they aren't fully involved in class. To help your students become more engaged during class, you create a third goal: Facilitating More Meaningful Discussions . The three goals for this lesson:
- Discussing and Practicing Critical Reading
- Exploring How Purpose, Audience, and Context Influence a Writer's Choices
- Facilitating More Meaningful Discussions
Reflect on your goals for the lesson, then prioritize them. Ask yourself what students most need to gain from the lesson. As you prioritize your goals, reflect once again on the overall goals for the course. Consider, as well, the goals for the current assignment.
If, Practicing Critical Reading is the most important goal for the day, focus your activities to meet this goal. Remember, however that Practicing Critical Reading is not your only goal for the class. Try to imagine how all three of the goals you've defined for the class can translate into activities that feed into each other.
Creating Activities that Reflect Goals
Consider the following example. Over the past few days, you and your students have discussed purpose, audience, and focus. To build on these discussions, use them as a starting point. Spend ten minutes at the beginning of class analyzing the context for the essay you're working with. This will help you pursue your goal of Exploring How Purpose, Audience, and Context Influence a Writer's Choices. After you've analyzed the essay's context, meet your goal of Facilitating More Meaningful Discussions by asking students to briefly share their personal reactions to the main ideas in the text. For the remainder of class, engage your students in a critical reading of the essay and an in-depth discussion of its argument and ideas. Since Practicing Critical Reading is the most important goal for the day, the majority of class time will be spent meeting this goal.
A loose outline of goals and activities might look like this:
- Goal: Exploring How Purpose, Audience, and Context Influence a Writer's Choices Activity: Analyze the context of a text (10 minutes)
- Goal: Facilitating More Meaningful Discussions Activity: Discuss students' reactions to a text (10 minutes)
- Goal: Practicing Critical Reading Activity: Practice critical reading of a text (30 minutes)
Typically, you'll plan more than one activity per class, so creating transitions between those activities is crucial. Students need to know when you're changing the focus of the class. When writing transitions, ask yourself, what is the significance of each of these activities? How do they connect to the daily goals? Why did I arrange them in this order? Is there a more logical way to organize these procedures?
Be sure to write out transition statements in your lesson plans so you don't find yourself grappling for explanations on the spot. If you can't explain the significance of an activity, look back at the unit assignment sheet or the description of goals in your syllabus. If the relevance of an activity is still unclear, replace it with something different to satisfy the same goal.
Strategies for Creating Effective Transitions
Highlight an activity's importance.
To help students understand where they are going, use transitions to explain the goal for an activity and why it is important.
For example: "In this second unit, you'll be concentrating on how cultural contexts shape texts. What influences a writer's perspective on an issue? Why does the writer approach this issue from a particular angle? Investigating the writer's context is important because it will help you read and think critically (two skills you'll develop this semester). Let's practice some critical reading by analyzing the context for the essay you've just read. I'd like you to break into five groups..."
Emphasize the Relationships Among Activities
Think of activities as building blocks, carefully arranged to lead students to a predetermined destination. If you want students to write from a rhetorical approach, consider the steps they have to take and plan accordingly. Then, explain to students how one activity leads to another.
For example: "Now that we've talked a bit about purpose, context, and audience in the writing process, let's identify these three concerns in the first essay assignment."
Emphasize Connections between Activities and Students' Own Writing
Students are more likely to participate when they see how activities relate to their own writing. For this reason, explain to students how an activity will help them become better writers for the next assignment.
For example: "To write effectively, we have to consider the context of our audience. This will help focus our writing so that it speaks to someone with different expectations. Since the context for essay three is not a familiar academic situation, you'll need to analyze your context and audience before constructing your argument. This next activity is aimed at helping you think more about the context for which we'll be writing."
Sample Outline of Lesson Plan with Transitions
The three goals for this lesson:
Activities and Transitions:
Transition: Now that we understand the context for this essay, let's think about it in the context of our classroom. We are not the audience this writer had in mind, so our reactions may be different. What were some of your reactions to the ideas in this essay?
Transition: It's useful to react informally to the ideas in a text but when you write a response for an academic audience, you'll need to show that you've read the text critically first before sharing your views. So let's practice critical reading for the last thirty minutes of class.
- Practice critical reading of a text (30 minutes)
Now that you have a loose outline of your lesson, think about how you'll introduce it. Introductions are important because, like transitions, they guide students' understanding of the course and its goals. When you provide an introduction, students see that you have a sense of where the lesson is headed. Not only will this add to your credibility, but students will be less inclined to ask, "Why do we have to do this?"
Use introductions to connect concepts from earlier classes to the upcoming lesson. Also use them as checkpoints or reminders for yourself and your students - this is where we've been and this is where we're going.
When writing introductions, look back at the previous lesson and tie up any loose ends. Perhaps students were walking out the door when you explained the connection between an activity and an upcoming essay assignment. Introductions are ideal times to reinforce important concepts.
Your introduction should include an outline of daily activities; but it is equally important to explain the purpose of these activities. Why do students need to practice critical reading in a writing class? How will their writing benefit from learning to analyze the rhetorical context surrounding a text? Without explanations, students wonder if their time would be better spent at home eating cheese puffs.
Methods for introducing class:
- Write an outline on the board, "What we'll do today" to provide a clear focus and keep the class on track.
- List activities on an overhead and uncover them as you address each one.
- Have students summarize what you did last class and how it connects to the upcoming essay. Then, explain how the next lesson will build on that.
Sample Outline of Lesson Plan with Transitions and Introduction
Introduction: Last time we discussed the ways context influences the choices a writer makes. Today we'll keep that in mind as we analyze the context for the essay you just read. Since our context is different from the one the writer intended, we'll spend a few minutes discussing your responses to the essay. Then, we'll focus on critical reading because this will help you accurately represent an author's ideas in the summary part of your essay. It will prepare you for the analytical writing we do in units two and three and it will also assist you in gaining the most from texts encountered beyond COCC150.
Effective transitions and introductions guide students' understanding of how activities, discussions and assignments relate to their own writing. Still, some students won't make these connections until they've engaged in class activities. Conclusions reinforce important connections and help students anticipate the goals for the next class.
Methods for concluding class:
- Summarize the information just covered in the class in your own words. Explain how the lesson builds on previous lessons and connects to the upcoming assignment.
- Have students conclude by summarizing or interpreting the significance of the lesson. What did they learn? How will it relate to their assignment?
- Ask students to do a brief "Write To Learn" activity reflecting on one thing they can take from today's class and apply to their writing.
Sample Outline of Lesson Plan with Transitions, Introduction, and a Conclusion
Transition: It's useful to react informally to the ideas in a text but when you write a response for an academic audience, you'll need to show that you've read the text critically first before sharing your views. So, let's practice critical reading for the last thirty minutes of class.
Conclusion: Today we reviewed the ways context influences the choices a writer makes. We also shared some of our responses to the essay and practiced critical reading strategies to help you write an accurate summary for essay one. Next time we'll focus on writing a response and consider the choices you'll have to make when drafting your own writing.
Instructors like to believe that if students are awake and engaged in conversation it's a cause for celebration. But there's more to consider. You may witness a spectacular discussion on the effects of teen magazines on youth culture or the implications of cyborgs in science fiction novels, but at some point you need to ask, "How do these discussions help students become better writers?"
When planning a discussion, consider your daily goals. Ask yourself, what do I want students to gain from this discussion? How will it contribute to the overall goal for the lesson? How does it connect to students' own writing?
Shape your outline or discussion plan to reflect the daily goals.
Discussions happen for different reasons. Perhaps you're leading a discussion to introduce a new concept or assignment. Maybe you're critiquing a sample essay, or looking closely at an assigned reading. Whatever the situation, you'll want to consider your role, as well as the goals. Taken together, these provide a starting point to give shape to your classroom discussions.
Planning to Introduce a New Concept or Assignment
When you are explaining what is meant by context, audience, or purpose ; or you are describing the writing situation for an essay, it is useful to engage students by asking questions that encourage them to reflect on their own knowledge. For example, when introducing audience as a rhetorical concept, you might ask, "Who did you think of as your audience when you completed your assignment for today? How did you make choices based on that audience?"
At some point though, students will begin to ask specific questions. This is an excellent time to define the concept you're introducing and provide them with clear answers.
Suggestions for Planning to Teach a New Concept
When planning to teach a new concept, write detailed notes in your lesson plans to help guide the discussion. Also, have several examples ready in case you need to present your points differently. After you explain a concept, plan to have students apply it to their own thinking or writing. Prepare questions or activities to gauge students' understanding and consider assigning additional reading to reinforce the lesson.
Suggestions for Introducing a New Assignment
When introducing a new assignment, be sure you've carefully reviewed it yourself beforehand. Highlight key places where you'll want to elaborate with examples or explanation. Also, anticipate any questions or confusions students may have.
Plan to check for understanding by asking students to summarize or interpret certain aspects of the assignment. For example, have them analyze the writing situation by asking, "How does this compare to the essay you just finished? Who is your new audience? How will you need to shape your writing to meet the needs of this audience?"
If a student raises a question about a concept or an assignment that you don't have an answer for, simply tell them you'll get back to them next class.
Planning to Model or Critique Student Samples
The goals for these types of discussions are clearly connected to students' own writing. You are showing them how concepts discussed in class translate into a particular type of writing. Or you are determining whether a writing sample meets the criteria for an assignment. During these discussions, you'll want to guide students with questions like, "What's effective about this piece of writing?" But don't hesitate to point out the problems areas in the sample.
Discussions about writing should be student-centered, but you also need to provide clear judgments. If an essay has some serious problems, be sure students are aware of this when they leave. When planning, highlight places where an essay is effective or ineffective. If students do not raise the same concerns, point these out for them. Your goal for these discussions is to have students walk away with a greater sense of what to focus on and what to avoid in their own writing.
Suggestions for Modeling Effective Writing
Model effective writing from your own students' work whenever possible. It's a good to do this even if some students are still having difficulty with a concept. For example, say you've finished teaching students how to write a summary, but the homework suggests that only eight students got it. You might decide to model two or three strong student samples in class.
Ask these individuals before class if they mind that you share their work (be sure to tell them that you are using their work as a positive model - it is never a good idea to put a student's problematic work on display for critique). Carefully plan out how you will facilitate this process. One approach would be to present a student's sample on an overhead and discuss what is working well in this piece with the class. Or you could ask the student to read their summary aloud. Consider other approaches as well, and decide which works best with your class and your teaching style.
Try to select work from various students throughout the semester. That way, students will see you're not basing judgments on one model for writing, but locating what's effective among various styles and approaches.
Suggestions for Critiquing Sample Writing
The samples for critique should not come from your own students. You should generate these samples or obtain them from another class. Be sure that whomever wrote the sample has given you permission to use it in class, and cross off their name before making copies.
It's useful to do critiques at the end of a unit, or just before a workshop. Have students read the entire sample piece of writing before coming to class and ask them to comment on how well it meets the criteria for the assignment. Consider various approaches to critiquing the sample and choose the approach that works best for you and your students:
Techniques for Teaching Students to Critique
- Make an overhead of the writing sample and mark it with students' comments during class.
- Role-play a student who is eager to hear a critique of their writing. Then have students pose as a workshop group whose job it is to inform you of how your paper could be improved. Encourage students to give specific and constructive criticism that will help you, as a writer, improve your piece.
- Arrange students in groups. Have students critique another writing sample. Then, have them present their critique to the class.
Planning to Lead a Discussion on an Assigned Reading
The goals for discussions will vary depending upon where you are in the sequence of your course. Perhaps you are using an author's ideas to generate ideas for students' writing, or pulling main ideas from a text and arranging them into an academic summary. You might want to determine whether or not a writer's choices are effective. You'll want to ask yourself, when planning these discussions, "What features of a text should we focus on in order to meet the daily goal?"
If the goal is to teach students summary skills, your discussion questions should be geared to accommodate this. You might create questions that ask students to define a writer's purpose and locate the main ideas. In most cases though, discussions will be dynamic, taking into account multiple purposes and goals.
Your text, course outline, or syllabus may include discussion questions as starting points. Use these as a guide, but also practice developing your own. If you are teaching students how to write a good essay, write out a list of questions that you think are relevant to an essay. Then look back at the daily goals and select those that best reflect these goals.
Arrange discussion questions in a logical order, but also plan to be flexible. Make a list of things that must be covered. Create a hierarchy of questions, but try not to insist on a particular order (discussions usually do not follow a linear path). Rather, think about how questions connect to one another. This way you can adapt during discussions.
Unfortunately, students won't always provide the insightful responses we dream of. Anticipate where your questions may receive shallow answers and plan to engage students with questions like, "Interesting, can you give a specific example for that? Or, can anyone take what Tony just said a go a bit further with it?"
Also, think about how you might phrase questions differently. Sometimes students are silent because they're not sure of what you're asking. Next to each question, list a few alternative ways to ask it. This may be all it takes to turn a tedious discussion into something exciting.
Planning Write to Learn Activities
Write to Learns (WTL) are short writing exercises intended to help students collect their thoughts, start a discussion, or reflect on an assignment. As with most activities, consider your goals when planning a WTL. What do you want students to most gain from the WTL? Your questions or prompts should clearly reflect this. If the goal is to have students evaluate a text, ask them to analyze the effectiveness of something rather than react to the main ideas. If the goal is to engage students' ideas and evaluate a text, plan questions that address both goals. Have students react to ideas first, then ask them to evaluate the author's use of evidence to support these ideas.
Think about how a WTL fits into your lesson. How does it connect with other activities? How might you use it to focus students' thoughts for a discussion or another activity? You can put WTL prompts on the board, display them on an overhead projector, or post them on your class Web site.
When to Use Write to Learns
The following are just a few suggestions. Most likely, you'll discover other uses for Write to Learns as you become familiar with your students and their needs. Since WTL's are informal exercises, you don't need to collect or grade them. Let students know that you'll discuss their answers if there's time. Also, let them know that you won't always read WTL's. If time permits, have students read each others' WTL so their responses can be validated by peers.
Some examples of when to use WTL's are:
To Begin a Write-to-Learn Lesson
Allow students time to focus their thoughts before asking them to engage in activities.
Sample WTL: Take about 5 minutes to free-write your personal reaction to one of the main ideas from one of these authors. Pick one, and keep writing. Don't stop. Just generate any thoughts or feelings you have about what the texts are saying. You can jot down any personal experiences you may have had that relate, or any observations that comment on the idea.
To Jumpstart a Discussion
Students typically participate more if they've had time to pre-write on the topic they're discussing.
Sample WTL: Please take out a piece of paper and write for five minutes or so about what you expect out of today's class. What do you hope to learn and contribute?
To Complete a Portfolio
Ask students to reflect on their writing process before collecting portfolios.
Sample WTL: Reflect on the summary/response paper. What are the strengths in your essay? What did you find most challenging? What did you discover about yourself as a writer when completing this portfolio? How can this discovery be useful to you in the future?
To Check for Understanding
See if students are getting something.
Sample WTL: Please take out a sheet of paper and summarize what we did in class today. What was the significance of each activity and how does it connect to the upcoming assignment?
To Generate Ideas for Papers
Have students begin the writing process with their own ideas and interests.
Sample WTL: List as many contemporary, debatable issues as you can on a piece of paper. Then go back and write down everything you've heard recently about these issues. Also include the sources for this information.
To Refocus a Discussion
Focus a discussion that gets off track or doesn't feel constructive.
Sample WTL: It seems a lot of you are having personal reactions to the ideas in this text. Take about five minutes to write these reactions down. If there's time at the end of class we'll discuss these concerns.
Writing is a dynamic process. As instructors of composition, we value lectures and discussions, but we also believe that writers benefit from collaborating and sharing ideas with other writers. For this reason, we encourage you to try different strategies for planning group activities.
When planning group activities, think about your goals. Then, design very clear and precise tasks to meet these goals. You should provide detailed instructions. Avoid complex language and confusing directions. If students don't understand a task, they tend to zone out and get distracted.
Your role during group work will vary depending on your teaching style and your students' needs. Some instructors roam the class while students are working, making themselves available if a student requests help. Or they join a discussion if students are off track. Other instructors sit quietly away from groups, without interfering. Whatever your approach, keep in mind that group work should center on students' ideas. You may guide their thinking, but the instructional goal for these activities is to help students learn more about the writing process. Therefore, you should try to work with students' ideas and push them to think harder rather than giving them your ideas.
Strategies for Facilitating Group Activities
The following are just a few strategies that instructors have found useful. You will discover other methods for employing group work that best match your own teaching style and your students' needs.
Assign Each Group Member a Role
Assigning roles is helpful in situations where students work as a group. For example, have students act as: the time keeper (who keeps everyone on track), the note taker (who does the writing), the task master (who makes sure everyone is participating), the devil's advocate (who challenges group ideas to ensure they are significant and well-supported), etc. This will keep all students involved and on task.
Give Each Group the Same Task
Put various questions on an overhead and ask all groups to address them. Then, have each group become an "expert" on one question. Have them present their responses to the class. Or, have each group address the same questions and compare their responses.
Give Each Group a Separate Task
Have each group look at a different text. Ask them to summarize it and present their work to the class.
Have Groups Practice Writing Collaboratively
Ask each group to summarize a text on a sheet of paper or an overhead transparency. Then have them display their summaries to the class or post them on the class Web site. You might also ask other groups to critique and comment on the writing.
Ask Groups to Role Play
Ask groups to role play various audiences (students, parents, teachers, city council persons, government officials, etc...) and analyze the same text. Then, collaborate as a class on the text's effectiveness for each audience.
Logistics of Group Activities
Much of the "know-how" concerning the logistics of group work comes from trial and error. The student who took meticulous notes in class is absent the day his/her group is to present. Or three students forget to bring drafts to class, as you requested. There is no way to avoid all of these hassles, but here's a list of things to think about to help you with some of the trouble shooting.
Things to Think About
- Contemplate how many groups you'll need and how many students you'd like in each group. Have students choose their own groups or form groups by counting off numbers or some other means (everyone who's wearing red in group one, etc...). Or arrange groups prior to class, based on your knowledge about students' personalities or writing abilities. Either way, anticipate student absences.
- Decide how much time to allow for each part of the activity.
- Determine how to present the activity. Will you distribute instructions on paper? List tasks on an overhead or board? It's best to provide visual as well as oral instructions for activities to help students stay on task.
- Think about whether students should turn in the work they do in groups.
- Decide if students should meet with groups outside of class and how they can facilitate this (in person, over e-mail, by phone, etc...).
Reflecting on each lesson will save you time when planning in the future. It will also help you become a more mindful teacher. We recommend saving a space at the end of your lesson plans where you can jot down brief notes on the following:
- What went well? Which activities or discussions would you like to use again next time you teach this course?
- What didn't work? How might you change a discussion or an activity to make it more effective next time?
- Did you get through all of the material for the lesson? If not, how might you combine this material with the activities and goals for an upcoming lesson (without falling too far behind)?
- What are students beginning to understand and what are they still struggling with? How might you reinforce the more challenging concepts in upcoming lessons?
Eglin, Kerri. (2008). Planning a Class. Writing@CSU . https://writing.colostate.edu/teaching/guide.cfm?guideid=95
Lesson Plan, Conclusion
Intentional practice was used in the development of the lessons. Teachers that are truly intentional about their work are methodical in their approach, well-organized in their planning, and able to defend their stances and methods to colleagues, superiors, and students. Creating a brief synopsis of the lesson’s main ideas is a crucial first step before diving in. The instructor should detail the lesson’s goals, methods of instruction, assessment techniques, required resources, etc. In addition, teachers need to know their students’ cultural backgrounds to design appropriate lessons (Pointer, 2022). Building on students’ past knowledge and providing them with meaningful and responsive experiences requires educators to utilize their knowledge of pupils’ social and cultural backgrounds. So, I planned my lessons with great care, making sure that the content was appropriate for the pupils’ ages and stages of growth.
Making sure you’re teaching to the level of every student in your class is a challenging aspect of teaching. To achieve all student-level achievement, I created two lesson plans so as to accommodate both low-level and high-level learners. My first lesson plan was for low-level students. I applied the principle of “students’ motivation determines, directs, and sustains what they do to learn” in my low-level lesson plan. How someone learns is directly related to how motivated they are to do so. An individual’s motivation can have far-reaching effects since it influences their energy levels, the learning strategies they employ, their degree of concentration, and even their thought processes. I utilized a wide variety of examples, verbally praised students who had achieved the lesson’s objectives, and encouraged those who were struggling.
“Curriculum-embedded assessment, based on teacher observation integrated into the curriculum rather than conducted as a distinct method, was used to evaluate the class activities.” Teachers evaluate their students’ learning through the process of teaching. I watched the class while they worked to get a sense of how well they were grasping the material.
In my second lesson plan, I applied the principle of ” to develop mastery, students should learn skills and how to integrate them to understand better and be able to apply them.” “To master a concept, pupils must acquire skills, practice integrating them and know when to apply what they have learned.” During the lesson, students acquired skills that they practiced integrating, and they provided several examples of where addition can be applied in real life while reminding them that all the careers they have in mind utilize additional properties, so keenness was necessary.
Both lesson plans incorporated guided and independent practice. I guided the students, and we solved the problems together; afterward, students solved the problems themselves by applying the concept I had earlier taught them.
As an evaluation strategy, formative assessments which incorporated student observations were used for both of my lesson plans. “Observation can be utilized for both informal and formal, formative and summative assessment. Teachers assess students formally using well-crafted observational tools and conduct informal observations daily as part of the teaching process. Keeping an eye on a student while they practice a new skill is a great way to assess how well they are grasping the material. In my classroom, I found out that paying attention to kids’ needs through observation is an effective strategy. I was able to gauge each kid’s academic potential and areas of improvement. Teachers can use this data to tailor their lessons and create engaging exercises that appeal to a wide range of learners’ interests and skill levels.
Both lesson plans utilized summative assessments. From the low-level students’ lesson, students received math problems as a summative assessment, and for the high-level students, they received worksheets. The evaluation of the student’s overall progress is the primary purpose of the summative assessment. The results of this evaluation illustrate how much a student has learned about a topic, subject, or project over the course of a specific period of time. Summative assessments serve two purposes for students: they encourage pupils to study, and they help teachers identify learning gaps. From the summative assessments employed in my classroom, they provided me with evidence as to whether students understood the skill taught, and I was able to give appropriate feedback to students.
Both lesson plans integrated instruction. I started with an introduction, then I introduced the new skill by lecturing and demonstration; I obtained feedback on whether the students understood the lesson content or not and provided directives on how to proceed, I then allowed for an independent practice where each student solved the problems individually, and then I evaluated the students work using formative and summative assessments (Pozas, 2020).
Both lesson plans used visual and physical resources to engage the students. Visual aids help in motivating pupils to do better in their studies, facilitating longer-term memory retention in students, providing a model through which to consider ideas, developing a student’s lexical competence, assisting students in developing an accurate understanding of key concepts, and giving pupils real-world experience. Facilitating instructors’ daily work. My lessons utilized colored blocks, colored plastic glasses, boards, and videos.
In conclusion, I believe my goal in designing lessons is to encourage students to think critically and communicate their ideas while meeting their requirements at their developmental stages.
Huang, A., Hancock, D., Clemson, M., Yeo, G., Harney, D. J., Denny, P., & Denyer, G. (2020). Selecting student-authored questions for summative assessments. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.07.28.225953
Pointer, L. (2022). Craig Adamson, intentional classroom engagement. The International Journal of Restorative Justice, 5(2), 305–308. https://doi.org/10.5553/tijrj.000122
Pozas, M. (2020). Exploring teachers’ use of differentiated instruction within the National Educational Panel Study in Germany. Proceedings of the 2020 AERA Annual Meeting. https://doi.org/10.3102/1574667
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“29: Concluding the Lesson,” Teaching, No Greater Call: A Resource Guide for Gospel Teaching (1999), 94–95
“29,” Teaching, No Greater Call , 94–95
Concluding the Lesson
“Oh, my time is up, but I’m not quite finished with the lesson. Just a moment. I’ll hurry through this last part.” Nearly everyone has heard a statement like this from a teacher. Such statements indicate that a teacher has lost an important teaching opportunity: the opportunity to bring the lesson to an effective conclusion.
Qualities of Effective Conclusions
Effective conclusions do not just happen; they must be prepared as part of the lesson. Conclusions are most effective when they have some of the following characteristics:
They are short, concise, and focused. Generally, they should not include material that you have not taught in the lesson.
They summarize and tie together the principles you have discussed.
They highlight important points made by those who have participated.
They help learners apply gospel principles in their lives.
They are uplifting, motivating, and positive.
They include time for testimony.
Following are some examples of ways to conclude a lesson:
Restate the lesson objective. Ask those you teach how they will apply it in their lives during the coming week.
Before the lesson begins, assign one or two individuals to listen carefully and be prepared to help summarize a major point of the lesson or the entire lesson.
Ask those you teach what they might say if someone wants to know what they have learned from the lesson.
Use a work sheet to help those you teach summarize the main ideas of the lesson (see “Work Sheets,” pages 183–84).
Allowing Time for a Conclusion
To present a good conclusion, you need to be alert and flexible in your use of time. Even well-prepared lessons do not always unfold as planned. The needs of those you teach may lead you to spend more time on a particular point than you have anticipated.
When this happens, you need to be aware of the clock. Bring the discussion to a close before the time runs out. Do all you can to make a smooth transition from the subject being discussed by including it in a quick summary of the lesson. Then conclude the lesson.
Modifying Your Prepared Conclusions
At times, you may need to alter your prepared conclusions because of a particular discussion, comment, or prompting from the Spirit. The following story is an example of a teacher who took advantage of a unique opportunity to conclude a lesson:
Toward the end of an early morning seminary class, the teacher desired to bring a discussion to a conclusion. The main idea of the lesson was that we come unto Christ as we obey the commandments. The class had talked about things some teenagers do that keep them from coming unto the Savior and fully receiving the blessings of His Atonement.
The teacher had planned to conclude by referring to a list on the chalkboard. But he had noticed a painting that a student had completed for a school art project. It was a depiction of a lamb peering through a wooden fence. The teacher asked permission to show the painting to the class, and he explained what he saw in the painting. “As we discussed in class,” he said, “the Savior is the Lamb of God, who gave His life that we all might come unto Him and through Him have eternal life. The fence in the painting is like the barriers that separate us from Him.”
The teacher expressed hope that the students would remove “fences” that keep them from drawing nearer to the Savior. He testified of the Savior’s invitation: “Come unto me, … and I will give you rest” ( Matthew 11:28 ). The class period ended, and the teacher returned the painting. The influence of the Spirit lingered as the students left the building.
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The importance of lesson introductions and conclusions
Tapfuiwa James Katsinde
The aim of the paper is to outline/discuss the importance of lesson introductions and conclusions. This was a desktop research which mainly used internet sources and textbooks. It also draws from the writer’s experience as a teacher and lecturer. The paper is guided by the constructivist theory about learning. The paper shows that lesson introductions are an important component of a lesson as they act as a motivator and lays base for better understanding of the topic to be learnt. Similarly a conclusion is also important as it acts to focus on main points learnt and to what extent these have points have been grasped. It is recommended that teachers make an effort to introduce and conclude their lessons. Future papers can discuss challenges faced by teachers in introducing and concluding lessons in primary and secondary schools. Key words: introduction, conclusion, importance, lesson, lecture.
Journal of Early Childhood and Primary Education, Kwara State University, 3
Bamikole Oludare Ogunleye
Effective learning of science by pupils is by doing, asking question and exploring answers to their questions through the application of the processes of science rather than by mere acquisition of facts, theories and principles. Indeed, the whole essence of Constructivism is for pupils to build their knowledge from personal experience and activity. In this process, the responsibility of the science teacher is that of a facilitator of learning rather than imparter of information. To accomplish these goals, the Expository-Discovery continuum offers a succession of teaching methodologies: the Expository, Free-Discovery and Guided-Inquiry. Since the teacher is at the centre of teaching-learning events, integrating these teaching approaches into the childhood education classroom requires teacher knowledge of the theories and principles underlying them. The Ausubel's Instructional Model of advance organizer, progressive differentiation and integrative reconciliation is apt towards a clear understanding of the rationale and procedure for designing and developing lesson plans on these age-long strategies yet to be adopted in Nigerian schools. This paper elaborates on the descriptors of teaching performance and lesson plan format based on the NCES Professional Development and Teaching Standards. The use of microteaching, a technique that affords beginning and advanced opportunities to plan and practice new instructional strategies, would help towards successful implementation and have, therefore, been recommended for pre-service and in-service teacher professional development. Teacher acquisition of these skills for classroom instruction would go a long way in the transformation of science learning and technological development of the nation.
Rajendra Kumar Shah
In the field of pedagogical practices, two aspects have been studied with great interest. Educators have long been researching how to make classroom delivery effective in the 21st century. In this context, the difference between LCT and TCT has been studied for the long time. Some scholars have emphasized on TCT while many other scholars educators have emphasized on LCT. TCT is a very old and prevalent teaching and learning method. This method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Due to this reason this method is still prevalent today and many classrooms are being used unhindered. But philosophers such as Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel, and Dewy have criticized TCT and advocated for LCT. Now, it is important to be clear about the difference between LCT and TCT. This study also attempts to clarify the differences between the two teaching methods. This article is prepared on the basis of in-depth study of various articles, research reports, books, various levels theses, etc. publi...
European Scientific Journal
Master of Education in Mathermatics and computer Science Education. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2016.
US-China Education Review A & B
Md. Robiul Islam
In this study, the theory and practices of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) have been investigated in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom. The study applies constructivism learning theory in CLT for developing communicative competence among students of higher secondary education in Bangladesh. Though the national curriculum of Bangladesh has started CLT for decades, still, students' competence in using the English language for communication is questioned. In this reality, following constructivism theory, scaffolding, and cooperative learning strategies, lesson plans were prepared for the students of eleven grade in Bangladeshi college. After conducting the lessons, this researcher arranged a summative assessment, where he found that paradigm shifts in the instructional strategies of teaching English from lecture method to constructivist teaching in CLT would bring about a revolutionary change in achieving communicative competence of the students. Again, for effective implementation of CLT in EFL context like Bangladeshi colleges, proper class size, seating arrangement, a trained teacher and right context should be maintained strictly; otherwise, all efforts will go in vain.
Leonard M Molefe
ASM Razeev Hassan
Corrective Feedback Strategies at Tertiary Level: A Case Study in Bangladesh
Mary Barksdale , Jerome Niles
International Journal of Secondary Education
Monica Gakii Ituma
Mediterranean journal of social sciences
CHANGING THE GAME: ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION 4.0 PROCEEDINGS 27th MELTA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Coker M Omobola
I. M. Onwusuru and Professor B. A. Ogwo
Ijeoma Onwusuru , Benjamin Ogwo
Onwusuru Ijeoma madonna
59th Yearbook of Teacher Education
Asian Journal of Education and Social Studies
of South Africa (AMESA)
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Writing a Lesson Plan: Closure and Context
- Lesson Plans
- Grading Students for Assessment
- Becoming A Teacher
- Assessments & Tests
- Elementary Education
- Special Education
- B.A., Sociology, University of California Los Angeles
A lesson plan is a guide for teachers to present objectives that students will accomplish throughout the day. This keeps the classroom organized and ensures that all material is covered adequately. That includes concluding a lesson plan, a step that many teachers may overlook, especially if they are in a rush.
However, developing a strong closure, which is the fifth step in writing a strong and effective eight-step lesson plan for elementary school students, is the key to classroom success. The objective , anticipatory set, direct instruction, and guided practice , are the first four steps, leaving the closure section as a method that provides a fitting conclusion and context for student learning that has taken place.
The Role of Closure
Closure is the step where you wrap up a lesson plan and help students organize the information in a meaningful context in their minds. This helps students better understand what they have learned and provides a way in which they can apply it to the world around them.
A strong closure can help students better retain information beyond the immediate learning environment. A brief summary or overview is often appropriate; it doesn't have to be an extensive review. A helpful activity when closing a lesson is to engage students in a quick discussion about what they learned and what it means to them.
Writing an Effective Closure Step
It is not enough to simply say, "Are there any questions?" in the closure section. Similar to the conclusion in a five-paragraph essay, look for a way to add some insight and/or context to the lesson. It should be a meaningful end to the lesson. Examples of real-world usage can be a great way to illustrate a point, and one example from you can inspire dozens from the class.
Look for areas of confusion that students might experience, and find ways in which you can quickly clarify them. Reinforce the most important points so that the learning is solidified for future lessons.
The closure step is also a chance to do an assessment. You can determine whether students need additional practice or whether you need to go over the lesson again. It allows you to know that the time is right to move on to the next lesson.
You can use a closure activity to see what conclusions the students drew from the lesson to ensure they are making the appropriate connections to the materials. They could describe how they can use what they learned in the lesson in another setting. For example, ask students to demonstrate how they would use the information in solving a problem. Ensure that you have a selection of problems ready to use as prompts.
Closure can also preview what the students will learn in the next lesson, providing a smooth transition. This helps students make connections between what they learn from day to day.
Examples of Closure
Closure can take a number of forms. For example, for a lesson about plants and animals, tell students to discuss new things that they have learned about plants and animals. This should produce a lively conversation where students can meet in small groups or as an entire class, depending on what is best for your particular group.
Alternatively, ask students to summarize the characteristics of plants and animals and explain how they compare and contrast. Have students write examples on the board or in their notebooks. Other possible closure activities include:
- Asking students what information from the lesson they think they will find important three years from now and why. This would work better with upper-primary-grade students.
- Using exit tickets. Have students write what they learned, as well as any questions they might still have, on a slip of paper with their name. As they leave the class, they can place their responses in bins labeled as to whether they understood the lesson, need more practice or information, or need more help. You can label these bins: "Stop," "Go," or "Proceed with Caution."
- Asking students to summarize the lesson as they would explain it to a classmate who was absent. Give them a couple of minutes and then either have them turn in the summaries for you to read or have a few present their writings to the class.
You can also have students write several yes/no questions of key points from the lesson, then pose the questions to the class for a quick thumbs up or thumbs down for each one. These yes-no questions will show how well the class understood those points. If there is confusion, you will know which points of the lesson you need to clarify or reinforce.
- Components of a Well-Written Lesson Plan
- Writing a Lesson Plan: Anticipatory Sets
- Writing a Lesson Plan: Independent Practice
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- Writing a Lesson Plan: Objectives and Goals
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And in Conclusion: Inquiring into Strategies for Writing Effective Conclusions
- Resources & Preparation
- Instructional Plan
- Related Resources
As part of the drafting and revision process for a current literary analysis essay (or another type of argument), students first participate in initial peer review to improve the argument in their essay. Then they inquire into published tips and advice on writing conclusions and analyze sample conclusions with a partner before choosing two strategies they would like to try in their own writing, drafting a conclusion that employs each. After writing two different conclusions and conferring with a peer about them, they choose one and reflect on why they chose it, as well as what they learned about writing conclusions and the writing process more broadly. Though this lesson is framed around an argumentative literary essay, its structure could be easily adapted to other written forms.
List of Online Resources for Writing Conclusions : Organized in two parts, these resources allow students to inquire into different published advice on writing conclusions to academic essays and then offer students sample essays to review and critique.
Conclusion Inquiry Guide : Students use these prompts to guide their inquiry into advice on writing conclusions and sample argumentative essays.
From Theory to Practice
The conclusions to student essays are often formulaic restatements of the key ideas of their introductions. While there is fairly wide agreement on strategies for constructing and improving introductions, there are fewer resources investigating “how to conclude,” partly perhaps because of the very context- and piece-specific nature of what a conclusion might do.
This lesson, then, draws heavily on two ideas from the more foundational NCTE Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing to guide students through inquiry into the genre of the argumentative essay and what function the conclusion can serve:
“Developing writers require support. This support can best come through carefully designed writing instruction oriented toward acquiring new strategies and skills.”
“As is the case with many other things people do, getting better at writing requires doing it -- a lot. This means actual writing, not merely listening to lectures about writing, doing grammar drills, or discussing readings. The more people write, the easier it gets and the more they are motivated to do it.”
Students participating in this lesson are supported in the specific task of drafting multiple conclusions to an essay to determine which is most effective, a process that itself involves significant writing to achieve.
Common Core Standards
This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.
This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.
NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts
- 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
- 7. Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
Materials and Technology
- Access to Internet-connected computers
- Peer Response Sheet
- Conclusion Inquiry Guide
- Conclusion Peer Response Guide
Organized in two parts, these resources allow students to inquire into different published advice on writing conclusions to academic essays and then offer students sample essays to review and critique.on
A student recently pointed out that essay expectation sheets and rubrics often give detailed descriptions of or advice about how to approach the introduction and body paragraphs, and then offer very brief attention to the conclusion. She noted that they might say something along the lines of “Bring your paper to a close without restating the introduction directly.” This seems to be a symptom of teachers ourselves under-thinking what can make a conclusion effective. To prepare for this lesson, first reflect on your own assignment sheets, rubrics, and beliefs about what a conclusion does in an argumentative essay. Are there principles that cross multiple types of writing (bridging the reader from the specifics of the essay back to the general world)? Are there some that are more specific to certain types of essays (the call for social action, for example)? As part of this work, preview the Online Resources for Writing Conclusions and consider how some of the suggestions align with your own thinking about effective conclusions.
- This lesson assumes some familiarity with essay writing and works best when students have drafted most of an essay except for a conclusion. Consider using the Essay Map to facilitate this process.
- This lesson assumes some familiarity with effective peer response practice Consider using ideas and strategies from Peer Edit with Perfection: Effective Strategies or Peer Review .
- Make copies of all necessary handouts.
- Arrange for access to Internet-connected computers for Sessions Two and Three, ideally one computer for every two students.
- Check links in the List of Online Resources for Writing Conclusions to ensure students can access all necessary resources.
revise an existing essay in preparation for writing a conclusion.
develop through inquiry a repertoire of strategies for concluding a literary analysis essay.
draft multiple conclusions and select one based on peer conferring.
- reflect on their choice of submitted conclusion and learning throughout the lesson.
- Begin the lesson by eliciting from students various advice they have gotten in the past about writing conclusions, as well as strategies they have used before to conclude their academic writing. If students have access to their writing folders or digital portfolios, give them time to scan over conclusions of past essays.
- As students share, record or project their responses and ask them to reflect on how useful that advice has been or how successfully those strategies have served them. Be sure to encourage discussion of what students think of as “bad conclusions,” even when those conclusions seem to be following advice that they have gotten. Discussion will likely generate a shared understanding that writing conclusions is a common challenge, and that no certain approach or advice always works all the time.
- Explain that in this lesson, students will inquire into different approaches they might take to conclude their current essay with an eye toward building a larger repertoire of strategies they might use in crafting conclusions in the future. Emphasize that the goal of this lesson is not to develop “one right way” to conclude a paper or essay, but to increase possibilities for and flexibility in their writing.
- Share with students that a conclusion is typically only as effective as the argument that comes before it, so they will first participate in a peer response activity in this session to improve the existing draft of the essay.
- Explain the expectations for peer revision using the Peer Response Sheet to guide the conversation. After trading essays and first reading drafts in their entirety, students should answer the questions on the Peer Response Sheet to provide feedback to their partner.
- Give students time to read and respond to a partner’s essay and then share and clarify feedback before asking students to set three revision goals for the next session at the bottom of the Peer Response Sheet .
- Set or agree upon a date for the next session (probably not the next day) and share the expectation that students come to class with a revised essay that works toward the goals they set in this session.
- Inform students that in the next few sessions, they will be investigating some Online Resources for Writing Conclusions to generate new ideas and analyzing sample essays for their effectiveness.
- Share the link to the List of Online Resources for Writing Conclusions and distribute copies of the Conclusion Inquiry Guide , explaining how they will use the two together: first to investigate advice for writing conclusions, and then to read sample essays to evaluate in light of that advice (in the next session).
- Direct students, perhaps in their peer response pairs from the previous session, to investigate the Online Resources for Writing Conclusions and complete the Conclusion Inquiry Guide .
- Depending on your students’ levels of independence, you may wish to provide additional guidance in investigating the Online Resources for Writing Conclusions . You might, for example, set a timer for each of the sites in the Tips/Advice section and after students have investigated, facilitate a full class discussion about what they noticed or will put on their Conclusion Inquiry Guide . Also consider asking them to talk through with their partner some of the strategies on their current essay. The strategies on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center: Conclusions website lend themselves particularly well to this kind of work.
- If time permits after pairs have finished, ask them to find another pair with whom to share their impressions, findings, and ideas.
- Collect the Conclusion Inquiry Guide to return to students in the next session for analyzing sample essays.
- Open this session by returning students’ Conclusion Inquiry Guides and drawing their attention to the second half of the guide, which prompts students to choose and critique two of the essays from the Online Resources for Writing Conclusions .
- Point students to the Online Resources for Writing Conclusions and be sure they understand the expectations for the activity: to read the essays in light of the tips and strategies they developed in the previous session and to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the conclusions.
- Depending on your students’ level of independence, consider reading and analyzing one of the four essays together as a class before asking pairs to evaluate and analyze. Adaptations to this part of the activity might include projecting the essays, but covering the conclusion. Then have student pairs brainstorm possible ways they might conclude before comparing their conclusions to what was written. Or, ask student pairs to rewrite one of the conclusions based on the feedback they offer. Regardless, remind students to note their impressions in the spaces provided on the Inquiry Guide .
- Near the end of the session, bring the class back together to debrief what they noticed and learned, focusing specifically on generating ideas that they might try in their own writing.
- Ask students to re-read and bring with them their essay drafts before the next session.
Ask students to get out their essay drafts and review their Inquiry Guides . Explain that in this session, they will choose two techniques they are interested in “trying on” to conclude their essay. Point out that many of the strategies will require additional revision to the body of the essay (particularly the introduction).
Give students a few minutes to talk through their ideas with their peer response partners or another nearby classmate.
Have students get out two sheets of paper or open two documents and give them time to draft a conclusion that tries each of the strategies. Circulate the room to assist students in decision making and drafting, and encourage students to continue to confer with their peer review partner as necessary.
- As students complete drafting their two conclusions, ask them to bring a copy of both versions of their essay to the next session, one with each possible conclusion.
- Explain to students that in this session, they will meet again in their peer response pairs to provide one another feedback on their current essay drafts and conclusions.
- Share the Conclusion Peer Response Guide and explain its expectations and how it will shape their interaction in the pair.
- Give students time to read each other’s essays, with particular attention paid to the conclusions, and provide one another feedback on their conclusions using the Conclusion Peer Response Guide .
- Close the lesson by asking students to share with the full group ideas, strategies, and questions they still have about writing effective conclusions, both for this essay and for academic writing in general.
- Explain that students should select a conclusion and make any necessary revisions to it and to the rest of the essay before submitting it. On the day papers are due, also consider having students respond to the reflection questions in the Assessment section below.
Have students develop a Web resource of their own, similar to those in the lesson, to share their learning about effective conclusions. Include links to their essays, with multiple versions of conclusions and commentary about their effectiveness.
- Use this inquiry model to support students in working through other trouble spots in academic writing, including introductions, transitions, developing support, or writing in different genres/styles.
Student Assessment / Reflections
When students submit their essays, ask them to reflect on their learning by responding to questions such as these:
How do the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion work together to make a coherent argument?
Why did you choose to submit this conclusion rather than the other?
What did you learn about writing conclusions through participation in this activity?
What did you learn about your writing process (and yourself as a writer) by participating in this activity?
- Student Interactives
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- Strategy Guides
- Professional Library
The Essay Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for an informational, definitional, or descriptive essay.
Students prepare an already published scholarly article for presentation, with an emphasis on identification of the author's thesis and argument structure.
This strategy guide clarifies the difference between persuasion and argumentation, stressing the connection between close reading of text to gather evidence and formation of a strong argumentative claim about text.
This strategy guide explains the writing process and offers practical methods for applying it in your classroom to help students become proficient writers.
With full recognition that writing is an increasingly multifaceted activity, we offer several principles that should guide effective teaching practice.
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CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH INTRODUCTION LESSON PLAN ESSAY ENGLISH WRITING OUTLINE BASIC WORKSHEET TEACHING PRIMARY LEARNING QUIZ WORDS TOPIC EXAMPLES RULE STUDENTS ELEMENTARY EDUCATION CURRICULUM KIDS PROMPT THEME UNIT ACTIVITY IDEAS RESOURCES
FIVE PARAGRAPH ESSAY MADE SIMPLE: Conclusion Paragraphs
Students will restate their grabber, summarize their body paragraphs and write a feeling/prediction sentence.
Students will understand how to write a conclusion paragraph for an essay.
Students will build skills necessary for writing paragraphs and essays.
4th Grade - 5th Grade - 6th Grade
Conclusion Paragraph Lesson - Use the printable lesson for your lesson plan, or use as a lesson supplement.
Students should read the lesson, and complete the worksheet. As an option, teachers may also use the lesson as part of a classroom lesson plan.
Excerpt from Lesson:
If you were writing a single paragraph, you would end it with a CONCLUSION SENTENCE, right? Well, you would do the same thing for an essay but instead of one sentence, you write an entire paragraph. CONCLUSION PARAGRAPHS are simple. You've already done the work; it just needs to be rewritten. The first thing you want to do in the CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH is restate, or rewrite, your GRABBER. Think of it in terms of almost copying your own work. However, you don't want to write what has already been written, so put it in different words. For example
Conclusion Paragraph Lesson *
You may print this lesson worksheet for students use.
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