A few people contacted me requesting advice regarding their first teaching practice placement. I remember the feeling all too well myself- given that it was only two years ago! First of all, don’t panic. I know you are busy doing pedagogy two right now, but you have loads of time to prepare.
I have written posts before with advice for teaching practice, which can be found under the ‘teaching practice’ tab. I included some points I found worked for me but everyone approaches teaching practice differently and what worked for me may not work for you!
Here is my two cents worth. At this stage, I would strongly advise talking to your class teacher as soon as possible. Once you know what you need to teach you will start thinking of lessons naturally without realising you’re doing it! Try decide on your themes too. The teacher may have themes he/she wants you to cover, if so then plan for these, if not pick your four themes, and start gathering resources, power-points, etc. At this early stage, that is plenty to be getting on with. I would start planning lessons maybe two weeks before commencing teaching practice. Give yourself a bit of a head start so the first week won’t be too tiring.
Regarding lesson plans, there is a set layout, learning objectives, assessment, language and literacy activities, introduction, development, conclusion, inclusion and integration.
All lesson plans follow the same formula. The lesson objectives are extremely important, make sure they are very detailed, and differentiated! There is an ‘all’, ‘most’ and ‘some’ section. The main thing with the objectives is to ensure they are not too broad. Keep them simple and realistic too. For example ‘All children will be enabled to partake in a class discussion and a think, pair , share exercise based on the life cycle of the frog.’ ‘Most children will be enabled to complete a diagram of the life cycle of a frog’, ‘Some children will be enabled to write three sentences about the life cycle of the frog’.
The introduction is where you grab the children’s attention. Make the lesson seem like the most exciting lesson they are ever going to have-show huge enthusiasm yourself, and they will want to be in on it! You could show a variety of images and see if the children can guess how the images link- and what the lesson will be about. Alternatively you could show a three minute video clip-just enough to get their attention. My favourite lesson hook would be concrete materials, e.g. if you are teaching under the theme of ‘Toys’ use a very old teddy at the beginning of the lesson to talk to them about what we will be learning. There are so many ways, but this is in my opinion, the most important part of the lesson as it is where you pique their interest.
The development then is more detailed. You simply detail exactly what you will teach step by step and how the children will learn. Detail the activities the children will complete in the lesson too. e.g. ‘the children will complete a first draft of the diary entry’. Mention too the methodologies you will use throughout the lesson.
The conclusion wraps up the lesson. Use a lot of questioning here and just tie all the learning together. It is like wrapping a present and this is the final bow you put on top!
Try use as many methodologies as possible,
skills through content
talk and discussion
use of the environment
The assessment part of the plan is crucial too. Include how you will assess the lesson, will it be child led or teacher led? State the type of assessment you will use and how you will record it.
teacher designed tests
Language and literacy activities: Here you simply state how you will promote literacy and language use in the lesson. I’d usually have three headings here: Oral language, vocabulary and literacy.
The inclusion section is where you write about how you differentiated for children who require it.
The integration section is where you show how your lessons integrate throughout the week. Write the subject, date and a sentence about how it integrates with your theme.
I have uploaded a sample lesson plan based on the strand unit of capacity in maths to give a rough idea of the layout of a plan. The plan is a multi-grade one as lots of people have asked me about these. My inspector was happy with the level of detail in my multi-grade plans so it may help-although we know all inspectors have different views, naturally.
I will be adding sample plans for each subject presently.