Part 2: Deep Lesson Prep That You Never Have Time For

Many teachers just submit educeri lessons (or the link to them) to their principal to meet her request for daily lesson plans. This way, both teacher and administrator are ensured that the content of the lesson is on standard and follows research-based practices for good teaching.

However, most teachers want to do more than just follow a lesson plan. You want to make sure your students learn. You care. But the problem has been that you don’t have time to do many of the things that might make a real difference. But now, by using educeri lessons to prepare your content and guide your delivery, you are freed up to focus more on students’ individual needs.

Here are 8 ways you can do Deep Lesson Prep that you seldom or never have time for.

  1. Advanced Differentiation. Now, you can plan for those students who are ahead of the class and need extra challenges. You can get more complex reading material, provide expanded discussions and exercises,  additional research, and interdisciplinary projects.
  2. Remedial Differentiation.  Now, you can plan pull-out groups, activity centers, diagnostic testing, special readers, and more. You can give more focused instruction on basic skills to bring them up to speed for the class.
  3. EL Students. Now, you can plan your educeri lesson with added strategies for English Learners. You can prepare ways to teach vocab with EL accommodations. You can work on pronunciation strategies, such as word chunking, backwards syllabication, inflectional endings, and more. You can make your delivery more comprehensible by paying attention to formal register, making sentences easier to understand, defining idioms, changing pronouns to nouns, using context clues, and more.  Our book EDI for English Learners details 50 strategies to help ELs.
  4. Demonstrations. Once you have the basic content of a lesson covered through educeri lessons, then you can focus on bringing in realia for demonstrations. Often, there’s not enough time to find what you need. But now, you can research and locate maps, shapes, body parts, pipe cleaners, clothing, colors, menus, tickets, magazine ads, coupons, and more. This will add a richness to the lesson that makes it come alive for the students.
  5. Gestures. In the heat of the lesson, you often don’t have time to plan out a gesture to make your point clearly. But a conscious effort to do so, and getting the students to imitate the gesture, goes a long way to help the students remember kinesthetically.  Dataworks will soon have a book of gestures that will be helpful in this kind of planning.
  6. Vocab. Too often, vocab teaching relies on a list of words and definitions in the textbook. Class reviews the words and maybe uses them in a sentence. But with a bit more time, you can really help students develop a love of words. You can bring in connotations, origins in Latin or Greek, cognate connections to other languages, synonyms and antonyms, and more.
  7. Automaticity.  With a little more time, you can practice the EDI strategies until they’re completely fluid or automatic. You can work with a colleague to measure the number of interactions you have per class. You can practice “working the page” to connect concept to examples. You can try out different “checking for understanding” questions, and when to use them, as well as the eight different kinds of feedback to give students when they answer. Once these skills become automatic, you will be amazed at how the lesson moves each day, and how impressed your principal and colleagues will be.
  8. Engagement. Part of lesson mastery is focusing on more ways to engage the students. The Dataworks Engagement Norms are 8 strategies that maximize the interaction between students and teacher. This is more than asking questions and calling on students. It involves changing the lesson from monologue to interactivity. That’s the theme of Part 3 of this Lesson Planning Master series.