Archive for the ‘Lesson Plans’ Category

This is my first weeks worth of lesson plans for the Forensic Science unit I am teaching in Quarter 3. I also uploaded the DoNow’s and visuals I used to help with those that have a hard time following along. Please give me feedback if you like what you see or have any additions.



Lesson Plan 1 – Deductive Reasoning Lesson Plan that introduces my Forensic Science Unit.

Forensic Science LP1

FS Visual LP1 The Deadly Picnic

Lesson Plan 2 – This lesson introduces the Forensic Science text.

Forensic Science LP2

FS Visual pgs 4-9

FS LP2 PennyChallenge DoNow1

Lesson Plan 3 – This lesson finishes off Lesson 1 in the text.

Forensic Science LP3

FS LP3 Srambled1 DoNow2


Charts and Graphs Handout

Interpret, read, and use information PP [Autosaved]

This is a powerpoint and handout for a lesson plan that teaches students how to intepret charts and graphs and make predictions based on data! Any feedback would be  great! Thanks!


Great article I read in esquire about teaching money to kids. Your student’s know what money is so why not use it in lesson plans for math, economics, personal finance, etc.

Money Lesson Plans to come… not because they are so money but because they will literally be about Money.

By the time I began learning how to deal with money, I was forty-two and paying down fifty grand in credit-card debt. And while I’d like to blame my folks for not schooling me in how to handle a buck, the truth is that my early ignorance in no way excused my ongoing stupidity. I could’ve learned; I didn’t really want to know.

My son knows. He knows how much my wife and I earn. He knows what we owe on the house. He sits at the dealership with us when we negotiate a car buy. He’s aware of health insurance, life, home, and auto — and he knows not to mess with the IRS. At age ten, God love him, he knows that money is fire: It can work wonders if you can make — and control — it.

When he started losing his baby teeth, I made sure the Tooth Fairy landed hard on both feet. I put a dollar coin under the pillow for each tooth, plus a $100 bill. I got calls from parents of classmates he told about this — they thought he was fibbing and they didn’t understand when I said it was true and tried to explain why.

Why? Because a $100 bill is thrilling. Those zeros mean something, even to a little kid — hell, especially to a kid. One hundred is a huge number when you’re learning to count. He wasn’t going to take the money to Atlantic City and blow it on hookers and an eight-ball; we went to the bank, opened up a savings account, and on our way home I told him how that money was already earning interest for him.

No allowance. The kid doesn’t work for us; he helps out because he’s part of the family. We work long hours, my wife and I, and he knows that’s how those $100 bills got here. He knows his job now is school and that working hard there is required.

I never thought of any of this as a philosophy. I think of it as teaching him a necessary craft — and as a different sort of insurance. Because my own teeth will start falling out in a while, and no pixie will slide bills under my pillow. I’m hoping that the kid’ll be good for a couple of implants, at least.

// By Scott Raab

Jelly Bean Math Activities

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Lesson Plans

Using jelly beans as math manipulatives can be a tasty way to introduce and reinforce math concepts.

Planning – 4-Step process in planning an activity
1. Understand the total activity
2. Imagine using it in the classroom.
3. Think of ways to avoid potential problems and modify accordingly.
4. Create a mental image of the revised version.
Set aside a regular time for planning, Make daily and weekly plans fit into large units and yearly plans, Correlate lesson objectives and activities to state standards, find out what the students already know about a particular topic with formal or informal pretesting before planning lessons and units, overplan a lesson, because it’s easier to cut than to stretch the lesson, plan for interruptions and unexpected events to maintain order and minimize disruptions, plan transitions from one activity to another – minimizes wasted time, confusion, and behavior problems, clearly communicate the plan to students.
Three Types of Plans
1. long-range (grading period, semester, or year)
    referring to state standards – determine an appropriate sequence for teaching required skills and concepts
    using a blank calender – mark all holidays, grading periods, testing times, schoolwide activities
    use themes to integrate subject matter
2. the weekly schedule
    Find out what a schedule for instruction should look like according to your state or district.
    Have a copy of any recommendations or requirements for time to be spent on each subject.
    Think about how you would like to begin the day – journaling, independent or paired reading
    After lunch activities – independent writing, soothing activities
    How are you ending the day – reflection activities
    Place subjects at appropriate places in the schedule – active subjects like science can be used with sedentary subjects like writing
    Get feedback on your plan from colleagues and then use it as a generic frame for your daily lesson plans
3. daily lesson plans 
    Detail specific activities and content to be covered
    Include objectives, instructional procedures, assessment procedures, student groupings, and materials.
Planning Defined
Visualizing – Planning is the ability to visualize into the future – creating, arranging, organizing, and designing events in the mind that may occur in the classroom.
Guiding – Planning for instruction provides a type of road map or guide that assists you in creating a flow of events that has a starting and ending point.
Managing – Planning is a way of managing time and events.
Decision Making – Planning for teaching is the ability to make decisions about the how and what of teaching. Based on:
    1. the student’s prior learning experiences
    2. the content derived from curriculum guides, textbooks, study guides, and teacher developed materials
    3. the context or conditions in which the instruction will take place.
Functions of Planning – If you fail to plan, then you will plan to fail.
1. … gives an overview of instruction
2. … facilitates good management and instruction.
3. … makes learning purposeful.
4. … provides for sequencing and pacing.
5. … ties classroom instructional events with community resources.
6. … reduces the impact of intrusions.
7. … economizes time.
8. … makes learner success more measurable, which assists in reteaching.
9. … provides for a variety of instructional activities.
10. … creates the opportunity for higher-level questioning.
11. … assists in ordering supplies.
12. … guides substitute teachers.
13. … provides documentation of instruction.
14. … establishes a repertoire of instructional strategies.
Preplanning (Activity: Mental Plan) – before instruction
    Gives purpose for learning, provides overview, economizes time, reduces duplication, ties to community events.
Active Planning (Activity: Written Plan) – before instruction
    Facilitates management and instruction, limits impact of instruction, provides sequencing and pacing, builds teaching repertoire.
Ongoing Planning (Activity: Fine-tune Plan) – during instruction
    Aids sequencing and pacing, responds to learner needs, provides for reteaching & a variety of instructional activities, facilitates higher-level questions.
Postplanning (Activity: Evaluate Plan) – after instruction
    Measures student success, guides substitutes, provides documentation, signals time to order supplies
Teachers use these four phases to draw on their experiences with the learner (entry characteristics), content (the curriculum), and context (classroom environment) to develop meaningful instructional plans for both teacher and student. Effective planners are able to visualize future lessons, build from past experiences, and fine-tune lessons while in the midst of instruction. Teachers may improve their planning effectiveness by monitoring their thinking (cognitive monitoring) during and after instruction.
Considerations for planning include the learner (entry characteristics), content (the curriculum), and context (classroom environment). Knowing the students in class is an important starting point in planning for instruction. The effective planner will look at both affective (motivation, personal self-concept) and cognitive traits (prior learning, achievement level, intelligence) of the learner before making final determinations about how the content should be taught. The teacher who goes beyond the written curriculum and adds something from himself or herself will enrich the learning experience of students. Given the daily press for content coverage, this enrichment must be a planned part of instruction. Planning enables you to challenge the students and broaden your universe of ideas and activities. Although much of the context of the classroom is a given, you have the opportunity to make changes that will benefit everyone.
Freiberg, H. Jerome. Universal teaching strategies / H. Jerome Freiber, Amy Driscoll. – 4th edition (2005)

Digital Storytelling

Posted: January 14, 2010 in Articles, Lesson Plans

This article is an interview with author and technology specialist Midge Frazel about her new book Digital Storytelling – Guide for Educators.

To begin working with digital storytelling, all teachers must first closely examine their state’s learning standards and school’s curriculum goals. All work in the classroom must be connected to what needs to be taught and learned. After that, the teacher’s job is to give clear directions for the project, making sure that students understand how the project meets curriculum standards. Once assignments have been given, students should organize their work, keep track of the gathered media in a spreadsheet, and know the proper use of citation.

The teacher will guide students in creating the story and then adding the media to form a digital story. The resulting project can be a video or a digital scrapbook/slideshow. Peer review and critical evaluation are still part of the writing process and should be added into the predesigned teacher created rubric for grading the digital project. Students then show their stories either in the classroom or to a global audience, by showing the class the video or posting it to the Internet.

An example: A student could craft a multicultural digital story about the holiday food prepared by his or her family, or about a local restaurant that serves food that his or her classmates are not accustomed to eating in order to bring culture into the classroom in a new (and delicious) way.

IRI’S are a series of samples of texts prearranged in stages of increasing difficulty. A teacher can listen to students read through the various texts to pinpoint their reading skill level and other concepts they need to work on.

Phonological Awareness: The ability of the reader to recognize the sound of spoken language. This awareness leads to phonics which is a method for teaching children to read by sounding out words. You teach children phonological awareness when you teach them the sounds made by the letters, and the sounds made by various combinations of letters and to recognize individual sounds in words.

  • Rhyming and syllabification (the separation of a word into syllables)
  • Blending sounds into words -such as pic-tur-bo-k
  • Identifying the beginning/starting sounds of words and the ending/closing sounds
  • Breaking/Segmenting words down into sounds
  • Recognizing other smaller words inside a big word, by removing starting/ending sounds

The role of Phonological Awareness in reading development:

  • Auditory games and drills where children recognize and manipulate sounds of words, separate or segment sounds of words, take out sounds, blend sounds, add in new sounds, or take apart sounds to recombine them in new formations are good ways to foster phonological awareness.
  • Snap game. The teacher says two words while students snap their fingers if the words share a sound.
  • Word strip activities and experiences help children concretely experience how words are made up of syllables and that words can be broken down in seperate sounds.
  • This website has a TON of activities for improving phonological awareness. You can always adjust the lessons to fit the grade level you are teaching.