3.2 Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness in Lesson Adjustments – Teacher makes a minor adjustment to a lesson, and the adjustment occurs smoothly. There is old military saying, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Teaching from a lesson plan is very similar. You’ve selected your learning targets, added learning activities that drive to the learning targets, picked formative assessments that are appropriate for the class, and visualized how the lesson will go. Then it comes time to do the lesson in front of students and you wonder what you were thinking when you wrote the lesson in the first place.
The biggest issue I faced on this topic was students not having mastery of the prior learning (usually the Algebra learned the previous year) necessary to conduct the lesson. This would require spur-of-the-moment lesson planning to cover the necessary background material, which detracts from the original plan. You also need to do this in a way that does not send a negative message to you students. In the end, they generally ended up with less independent practice time because of the necessary additional instruction required.
After reflecting on a few occurrences of this, I developed a plan to address these situations and prevent them from becoming a common occurrence. A few days prior to introducing material that would require some additional Algebra work, I would utilize daily warm-ups, at the beginning of class, to review the material that was suspect in my mind. This allowed me the opportunity to both gauge their level of mastery and provide some review and instruction in a low-stress way for the students. This put me in a position to make more meaningful adjustment to instruction of new material instead of backtracking to cover old material.
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