Planning lessons and courses

Planning single lessons and longer course outlines is an important part of professional development. This professional practice involves defining aims/learning outcomes that meet learners’ needs and the course objectives, selecting and developing engaging activities, resources and materials which correspond to the aims of the lesson. It also involves dividing lessons into coherent stages, planning board work, selecting and describing interaction patterns for different activities during the lesson, and planning for differentiated learning.

Planning lessons and courses includes anticipating problems that may arise during the lesson, and planning how to respond to these, describing how learners’ understanding will be checked or assessed and describing when and how feedback will be provided. It is important to be able to describe how a lesson is linked to those before and after it, plan a broad outline for a sequence of lessons, including the recycling of learning content and reflect on the approach and effectiveness of lesson planning, incorporating learner feedback and other evidence.

Planning lessons and courses involves:
  • Describing my learners in relation to their learning needs.
  • Defining aims/learning outcomes that meet my learners’ needs and the course objectives.
  • Selecting and developing the activities, resources and materials which engage my learners and correspond to the aims of the lesson.
  • Dividing lessons into coherent stages with realistic estimates of timing.
  • Planning board work.
  • Selecting and describing interaction patterns for different activities during the lesson.
  • Planning the grouping of learners.
  • Planning for differentiated learning (e.g. for different ability levels or early finishers).
  • Anticipating problems that may arise during the lesson, and planning how to respond to these.
  • Describing how my learners’ understanding will be checked or assessed.
  • Describing when and how feedback on my learners’ performance will be provided.
  • Planning activities that help my learners to develop learning strategies.
  • Describing how a lesson is linked to those before and after it.
  • Planning a broad outline for a sequence of lessons, including the recycling of learning content.
  • Reflecting on the approach and effectiveness of my lesson planning, incorporating learner feedback and other evidence.
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