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How to write a Lesson Plan for a School Aged class room
Every week I get to do a Lesson Plan for the kids in my room. It is hard to come up with so many different things each day. They are not allowed to do the same thing twice in one week unless it is an outside game like kick ball or volley ball. I do try and make it something different each day though and then start over the next week but switch it up a bit so it is not always the same. Here are the main parts to my Lesson Plans and how I go through to make each one work for kids between the ages of 5 and 12.
First you have to have a Theme Guideline. This theme guideline helps so you know what holidays are each month and what to celebrate each week. It's easiest to break it down per month then per week depending on what holidays fall where in the month. Here is an example of my October 2011 theme guideline.
October 2011 - Week 1, Firefighters, safety in our community - Week 2, leaves and weather, apples and nuts - Week 3 squirrels, corns, pumpkins, gourds - Week 4, scarecrows, spiders and finally Halloween!
You don't have to everything in one day as there are 5 days in the week but my advice is to keep it all incorporated in the week. For week one we first would talk about safety in our community, who keeps us safe, how they keep us safe, that sort of thing. Tuesday we would talk more about firefighters. Wednesday would be making some sort of fireman project along with more safety talks. Thursday would be a trip to the firestation or have the fire truck come to the child care center and then on Friday review everything we did all week allowing the kids to show off some of their own ways to stay safe.
After you have the theme guideline down you need to break it down even farther into activities. In the lesson plans I do they consist of 7 different activity catagories.
1. Developing Links (teacher directed) - these I normally do discussions about the theme of the week. We also talk about the past weekend and what the kids did. Fridays we talk about the weekend coming up.
2. Language, Literacy and Writing - here is always some type of reading/writing. Because my kids ages are such a wide range I seperate them into 4 different age groups. 5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds, 9-10 year olds and 11-12 year olds. If there are enough older kids I do let them go to the younger kids and help them read their stories or read to them. Gives the older kids a sense of being needed and teaches them how to help younger kids.
3. Art - my favorite time of day! I love doing crafts. We paint, color, cut, glue, anything you can imagine. We make clay, playdough, and so much other stuff. I always have multiple activities in this category because it is a kids favorite too. Some of the kids are able to do one activity in 10 minutes where it might take others 30 minutes. This is another reason for the multiple things to do. Have to keep them busy for the whole length of time!
4. Music, rhymes, sing - Oh how we love to dance and sing. We play musical chairs, dance competitions, make up our own songs and rhymes about the holidays, etc. There are so many things that you can do under this activity.
5. Discovery, science, cooking, sensory - This is the hardest one for me. Because we don't have a kitchen we don't do much of the cooking. We do a lot of science and sensory when we make the playdough and play with magnets. I like to have them outside as much as possible so doing discovery missions outside is always fun for them.
6. Exercise, games - Outside, outside, outside! We are always outside (weather permitting of course). We play lots of different games. Volleyball, touch football, basket ball, kick ball, red light green light, anything you can think of. We also play indoor games like go fish (teaches them matching), war (teaches them what card is a higher number), monopoly (teaches them about taking turns and counting large numbers, etc.
7. Math and manipulativies - we use math in our every day projects. Only get 4 pom poms or 12 cotton balls. We add how many girls and boys there are. With the manipulativies we have tons of toys to play with. Legos, Kinex, Lincon Logs and regular blocks for building. We have a lot of the toys that "get put together" or make "links".
I hope this has helped you realize how wonderful it is to teach such energetic kids! I know I will be coming back to this each time I need a little help making my lesson plans. Have I mentioned I love my job!