Creating Effective Lesson Plans
Teachers focus lesson plans around state established guidelines to prepare students for state tests. It is essential teachers prepare creative, effective lesson plans that meet the needs of every student. These guidelines shouldn’t inhibit the teacher. They should serve as a basis for the topics to be covered. As teachers begin to prepare lesson plans, they should consider a student’s background knowledge. Often Title 1 students lack background knowledge to make connections between examples and their own lives. Teachers must work to build student’s background knowledge, thus increasing their own experiences.
For Title 1 teachers to create effective lesson plans, they must connect with their students and determine what is important to these students. As a teacher in a predominately Hispanic Title 1 school, I thought it was important to read a variety of Hispanic authors. I picked stories that spoke positively about Hispanic culture and heritage, and presented the students with positive role models. Another activity my department utilized, inviting local slam poets to perform for the students, proved entertaining and effective. Many of the performers came from the same background and neighborhoods as they did.
An essential aspect to helping Title 1 students succeed is tutoring. I established certain days for tutoring, but more often than not a student would show up at my door on an off day asking for help. It became easier to inform students at the beginning of the week what days I would be available before and after school. While the students who didn’t like to attend after school tutorials were enticed by snacks. I kept a drawer full of crackers, pretzels and fruit roll-ups only to be consumed if a student completed the work. This was a cost out of my pocket, but it was how I motivated some of my students to complete assignments. I’m sure for some it was also their dinner.
Below are few ideas for conducting tutoring sessions:
* Quickly review the previous day(s) material
* Answer student questions and provide examples
* Encourage students to work in partners to complete the assignment
* Assist students who need extra help
* Question students over the material to review (I often did this as a game.)
This post is part of the series: Understanding and Working with Title 1 Students
Title 1 funds assist schools in meeting the educational needs of students living near or at poverty levels. This series examines student motivation, creative lesson plans, difficulties teachers face with at-risk students and proper implementation and documentation.