IPTS Standard 4 | Planning For Instruction
The competent teacher understands instructional planning and designs instruction based upon knowledge of the discipline, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
Unit Plan: Quadratic Models
This artifact was created in CI 402M: Teaching Diverse Middle School Students in the fall of 2010. It is a month long unit plan developed with two of my peers exploring quadratic models. For this unit plan, we developed a day to day schedule for lessons and assessments, as well as what technology, manipulatives, special activities, and instructional strategies we would use for that day. I constructed a lesson plan on building quadratic functions as well as mini-lessons for each day.
This unit plan required a lot of instructional planning based upon quadratic functions, our curriculum (including textbook), as well as our students. I had to think about what technologies I could use to engage my students (such as motion sensors, calculators, SMARTboard, GeoGebra, rulers, etc) and make the content meaningful and hands on. The very first lesson is a motion sensor activity so students become motivated, followed by an activity where they build quadratic functions from linear functions, building on their prior knowledge. At the start of the unit, they are discovering new knowledge on their own and connecting the physical model of quadratic functions to their motion sensor activity. I also had to keep in mind the disparities among my students in terms of learning styles, motivation, culture, and ability. Throughout the lessons, we plan for these differences and also address common misconceptions students might have during the lesson.
Planning for instruction encompasses a wide range of criteria. When I plan my lessons, I want to know what goals I have for my students and base my lessons around these goals. I need to plan on what content I will be presenting, how I will be presenting it, and why I am presenting it. I need to know what materials I should use to make the lesson meaningful for the students, and what audio and visual supplements I can use. I also need to know my students and build on what they know to make vital connections to new knowledge. Will I lecture for most of the class period? Will we break up into groups and do and activity? Will we have a discussion about the main concepts or misconceptions? Are there any special accommodations I need to make for my students? How will I know they understand the material? These are all questions that are important to ask when planning a lesson plan.