Elements of Teaching Lesson Planning & Teaching
Wednesday, 11 August 2004

Isolation ? The Enemy of Improvement.  - Mike Schmoker

Elements of Teaching Lesson Planning and Teaching (EDU 105)

Essential Question ? What is the role of good colleagues in my teaching life?

Backward Design Lesson Planning:


Why is this learning experience important (i.e. What?s the point?)?

(1) For you to do what teachers do when they organize information and create experiences to engage students productively in the learning process,

(2) For you to collaborate and negotiate with your classmates to learn life skills and about group work so that you might realistically use it in your own classroom,

(3) For you to experience the value of learning with others, being creative, and the sustaining energy of good colleagues,

(4) To address Maine?s Standards One, Three, Four, and Six for Initial Certification.

Standard One - Demonstrates knowledge of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful to students.

Standard Three - Demonstrates a knowledge of the diverse ways in which students learn and develop by providing learning opportunities that support their intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development.

Standard Four - Plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, and curriculum goals.

Standard Six - Creates and maintains a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning.


What will you know or be able to do or demonstrate when you are done? You will demonstrate your competence in teaching by engaging your classmates in learning about one of the elements of teaching.


            How will I know that (i.e. assessment)?  See rubric below.


A successful face-to-face team is more than just collectively intelligent.  It makes everyone work harder, think smarter, and reach better conclusions than they would have on their own. ? James Surowiecki


Guidelines: If and when you take a position in the public schools, it is necessary that you develop the ability to work with others, including those who have different learning styles and personalities than yourself.  In the public schools, you will be asked to be on various committees and will be assigned to work with a grade level or team of teachers, the composition of which you have no choice.   For this assignment, my hope is that you enjoy the people you work with and pull your own weight.  In my experience with this assignment, most groups work together famously.  They learn and are supported by each other.  If you are one who often gets her/his own way, consider how you can collaborate so all viewpoints are heard. 


One strategy to complete this ?committee work? is to use Stephen Covey?s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People as a guide. 

1. As you meet with your group to plan, seek first to understand what others are thinking and then be sure that you are understood. 

2. Don?t sit back nor dominate the conversation. 

3. Be proactively involved in the project as you do your part and collaborate with your classmates. 

4. Seek to be democratic in your decision-making throughout your collaboration. 

5. Think win/win as you include each other?s thinking to create an engaging lesson for your classmates that is better than anything one of you have might have created on your own. 

6. Once the conversation has begun, create a plan with the end in mind.  What do you want your classmates to know and be able to demonstrate at the end of the workshop?  

7. Then begin with what needs to be done first. 


In small groups, lead a 40-45 minute hands-on experience (30-35 minutes) and participatory discussion (10-15 minutes) about your element of teaching.  Choose a grade level to focus on.  Your classmates may play the role of students at that grade level.   To engage your classmates, your group may draw upon a variety of teaching and learning options such as simulations, role-playing, group work, film clips, or other models of "good teaching" that you have seen or about which you know.  For example, one student dressed up as Amelia Bedelia and stayed in character throughout the presentation.  Demonstrate and model your element of teaching for us and then give us an opportunity to learn by doing. 


When it is time for the discussion, have your classmates respond first to your discussion questions in pairs and then open up the discussion for the larger group.  Have the questions about your element relate to kids learning and teachers teaching in schools.  The discussion generally comes at the end of the hands-on experience.  Make the questions of a practical nature; questions that preservice teachers would like to ask about teaching and learning in the classroom (e.g. As a teacher, what would you say if your student told you that one of their other teachers was not nearly as good as you?).  This will be an opportunity for you to practice ?Wait Time.?  All students need time to think about the questions that are asked of them. 


Include visuals (e.g. other posters, handouts for your classmates, books, writing and drawing materials, props).  Some groups began their presentation with rules for their classmates (e.g. No saying I can?t.  It?s important to ask questions.).  Others, when they wanted students to role-play, asked their classmates to remember when they were in second grade, seventh grade, or twelfth grade to get them in the spirit of the class.


I will ask you to pay attention to a variety of learning styles (oral, visual, and kinesthetic) when you teach.  Oral includes but is not limited to: (1) explaining, (2) reading to us, (3) students talking in groups, (4) students reporting out what they have learned, and (5) singing.  Visual includes but is not limited to: (1) video, (2) pictures, (3) additional posters, and (4) overheads.  Kinesthetic includes but is not limited to: (1) writing, (2) movement, (3) drawing, and (4) students performing. 


            Title your poster creatively.  Include the name of your element somewhere distinctive on your poster.

a.       A clearly stated definition of your element (Paraphrase.)

b.      Two to three key points about your element from the chapter.  (Put them in bullet points and edit them.)

c.       Two questions for discussion about your element (e.g. Ask a question that would come up in the classroom where your element would come into play.).

d.      Put the names of the group members and the date due.


Create a one-page handout for your classmates.  Give it a title.  Put your names with the copyright symbol at the bottom.  Include all the points from sections I, II, and III in your update (see below) as well as your two discussion questions. 


            Create an Essential Question ? Characteristics of Essential Questions

They go to the heart of the subject.

They are doorways to exploring big ideas.

They do not have one answer.

They are debatable.

They are questions that can be revisited again and again.

They are rich, engaging, and provocative.

They pose dilemmas.

They raise other questions.


            Update - After the second of your four class work times, send me electronically by Word attachment one update of your progress as a group by March 25th.  I will give you formative assessment (in process feedback) on your efforts to date and send back an electronic response to you.   In this one to two page, typed update, address all the points below using Roman numerals.  Include:

I. Group members, name of chapter, and grade level of learning experience,

II. Essential Question

III. Your answers to these three questions. 

A. Why is this learning experience important (i.e. What?s the point?)?

B. What will your classmates know or be able to do or demonstrate when you are done?

C. How will you know that (i.e. formal or informal assessment)? 

IV. A preliminary outline of what you will do for the 40-45 minutes of your teaching and learning experience with the estimated length of time for each segment,

V. Your plan to complete the project on time, and

VI. One to three questions for me. 



N.B.   Whoever sends the update to me, cc (copy) it to your group members.  I can then ?Reply All? and send the update with my comments back to each of you. 


If you have your classmates work in groups, come up with a creative way of putting them into groups for your presentation.  For example, one semester a group taped the roles for their classmates under the chairs in the classroom.









































Point 1 on the rubric ? Your classmates are to take on the role of eager, interested students.  Teaching for the first time is hard enough without EDU 105 students dealing with discipline issues, too.  Once you have completed your presentation, your classmates will fill out Appendix A.  I believe students deserve a wider response than simply that of the teacher.  The Appendix A sheets, signed by your classmates, will be given to the presenters so that they can see the narrative comments that accompany the ratings. 


Point 2 on the rubric - You will score yourself and your partners with the Group Work Peer Assessment (Appendix B).  These are due at the beginning of class on the day you present.  You will receive Appendix B from your group mates. 


Point 3 on the rubric - You will write a one full page, single-spaced reflection on your chapter and your participation in the preparation for the group project.  In paragraph one, write what you learned about your specific element from the Elements of Teaching.  Connect your reflection to your clinical experiences and your hopes for your future classroom.  In paragraph two, describe the learning you did by working in this group.  What did you learn about yourself as it relates to group work?  Be specific as you reference some of the points in Appendix B.  In paragraph three, state your philosophy of education; what are the conditions in the classroom that make learning happen for students; what are your beliefs about good teaching.  These papers are to be sent to me electronically the night before your presentation. 


EDU 105 Elements of Teaching

Teaching and Learning Experience Rubric







1. Classmates? and Instructor?s evaluation


Not to Acceptable level (0-11)




2. Partner(s) and self-evaluation (10)

Not to Acceptable level (0-7)




3. One page Reflection


Not to Acceptable level (0-7)

All the required elements



Written with clarity

and specifics




-3 late reflection (not in the night before the teaching you will do)

-3 late Appendix Bs (not in prior to start of teaching)                                              

-2 late or no Appendix B self-evaluation (just did it for your group mates)

-2 not 50 words of narrative/description in your Appendix Bs.



Score _____ of 40




Appendix A



Group Members __________________________________________________________


Name of Chapter ____________________________________Date_________________



Needs Improvement


Meets Expectations


Exceeds Expectations

Showed evidence of careful planning






Well-paced, logical delivery






Quality of







Quality of handout(s)














Equal participation during the presentation






Modeling of the ?Element?






Quality of discussion questions






Professionally dressed as if they were teachers







One or Two Strengths:









One Suggestion for Improvement:








Reviewer?s name ____________________________

Appendix B



Name of group member __________________________________


Your name __________________________________



Not at all (2)









* Sought first to understand, then to be understood






* Didn?t sit back nor dominate the conversation






* Proactively involved in the project  






* Sought to be democratic in  decision-making






Spoke in a courteous manner






Brought positive energy to the process






Worked with others to answer questions/resolve problems in group






Was willing to take on responsibility for group tasks






Produced her/his fair share of the work required






Produced quality work







* - from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey


On the back of this paper, write at least fifty words of feedback for the two categories below.  All fifty words could be in one category or the other.  This paper is due at the start of the class period on the presentation day.


1. One or Two Strengths:

2. One Suggestion for Improvement



Your grade (1-10) for this group member _____

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 December 2006 )