The English Teacher

Designing Lessons and Units

In developing a class, interlock lessons and units to build and develop skills and to maintain skills and knowledge. Don't teach something that you drop and never teach any part of again.... or never use the knowledge of any part again. If you do totally drop material, you are teaching the student to forget and/or are confirming the concept that it is ok to forget -and/or- that what you are teaching is not important enough to remember.

When you design a lesson, it usually takes two or three times presenting it to a class to work out all the problems. [In my first Methods class we were asked to design a poetry lesson for 11th graders without any prior class instruction in how to accomplish this. Then all the faults of our presentations were pointed out. It was a potentially discouraging experience... leaving the class with the impression that new lessons had to be perfect, without flaws. In the real world, a perfect first lesson rarely happens.] Don't give up the idea of creating some lessons of your own and instead rely solely on 'canned' lessons because of one or two imperfect first results.

It can take two or three years to develop a class.

The first time you give a test, if you designed the test, it is the test that is being tested. If it is a test someone else designed, then the first time that you give it, your teaching is being tested. The Teaching Literature page has examples of some test designs as does Teaching Media.

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