Standard 3: Planning
Meeting Standard 3:
"The student teacher's lesson plans are carefully written and detailed, noting content and skills objectives, describing activities, and noting special learning and diversity needs where appropriate. Lessons exhibit clearly focused, sensible connections from one to the next, and are designed to promote construction of knowledge by students. The student teacher takes time to explain lesson objectives to students and, using a variety of strategies, checks that students are clear about what they are doing and why they are doing it."
- Brown University Teacher Education Handbook
I put meticulous thought into sequencing lessons so that prior knowledge was elicited and students were engaged before concepts were explained. I drew connections between topics, incorporated varied modes of delivering information, and assessed student understanding by the end of each lesson. I made constant efforts to implement the 5E cycle, which says that explanation should be preceded by engagement and exploration, and followed by elaboration and extension. When this cycle took place over the span of several class sessions, the trick became to engage students at the start of every class and come away with some sense of what learning had successfully taken place by the end of the class.
In such a large school with such scarce and shared resources, last-minute planning was not an option. Every day, I arrived at school an hour to and hour and a half before classes began. This large block of time gave me a chance to attend meetings with the other teachers in the department, confer with my mentor teacher, make copies, set up labs and activities, and double-check that technology was working. I stayed after school, sometimes for hours, correcting work, planning, and locating supplies, so that I could be sure everything would run smoothly the next day.