Improving Lesson Planning to Increase Student Learning

Lesson planning is a vital component of teaching and learning that provides teachers a framework to guide their lesson progression with the purpose of students mastering the lesson objective. Lesson planning is also another tool to support novice teachers with basic classroom management. The planning process allows teachers to be more confident and foreshadow any student misconceptions that may arise during the lesson.  Currently, novice teachers complete an approved teacher credentialing program and submit documents including lesson plans to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to provide evidence of their ability to plan and teach among other aspects of teaching. From data collected, it became clear teachers did not prioritize lesson planning nor understand what components should be included in an effective plan.  Review of literature directed me to the high leverage components of a quality lesson plan that would yield the highest results in the classroom; the purpose of the lesson and how the teacher knows at the end if the students learned the material. As a result, I created a small professional learning community  comprised of novice teachers all in their first year of teaching across different grade levels and content areas. Together we read literature and engaged in professional dialogue to deepen our understanding of the purpose of lesson planning and the highest leverage components of a lesson plan. From here, teachers shared their lesson plans, provided feedback together, and revised their lesson before teaching.  The skills and knowledge around lesson planning increased among this small group of teachers. Implications include the importance of providing time in the school day for teachers to learn to plan and building shared understanding around what effective lesson planning looks like.