- Content Knowledge Criteria:
The teacher uses content area knowledge, learning standards, appropriate pedagogy and resources to design and deliver curricula and instruction to student learning.
Throughout the General Inquiry course I explored, discovered, and learned how to design and deliver effective curriculum. Course reading such as Understanding By Design written by Grant P.Wiggins and Jay McTighe (2005) and The Art and Science of Teaching by Robert J. Marzano (2007), laid a strong foundation on how to construct well thought out lesson plans. The class reflection forum and assignments further enhanced my learning discoveries and provided a way for me to apply what I was learning. There are three areas in which I feel my understanding of designing coherent instruction has improved.
First, I realized many things must be considered before writing lesson plans. For example in module two I learned that lesson plans need to align with state standards. For the state of Washington all educators must follow Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Using CCSS will define and help reinforce learning targets and objectives while exploring how to put together units and lesson.
Elements of an Effective Lesson Plan
Second, in module 5 my classmates and I learned how to create effective lessons by using principles of effective instruction such as reviewing, segmenting, teacher modeling, scaffolding and independent practice. We also learned how to incorporate opportunities for extended reasoning, e.g., summarizing and note taking, teacher generated cues and questions, cooperative learning and reflection. Finding examples online or in our EdTPA folder to evaluate for elements of effective instruction or opportunities for extended reasoning were even more helpful in deepening my understanding of effective elements of an effective lesson.
Characteristics of an Organized Lesson Plan
Finally, I now understand why and how organizing informal and formal assessments throughout the lesson plan is a valuable part of supporting students learning. In addition, conducting informal and formal assessments throughout a lesson enables teachers to gage how well their students understand concepts and to assess whether students are ready to move on in the lesson.