One elegantly simple way to lesson plan is to go through these three phases:
- I do it
- We do it
- You do it
In other words, first you introduce what the students will be learning. Then you all practice it together. Lastly, students have the opportunity to practice it more independently.
I want to be clear that I did not invent this. I learned about it in several conversations and trainings. It’s not the only way to lesson plan – just a really helpful tool to have at your disposal.
Five things I love about this lesson planning lens:
- “Do.” In a language classroom, we are using the language to do things. We should not just be learning about the language.
- Teacher Talk (or TTT) is in its place. It serves phases two and three. It introduces and then steps aside. It is not the point.
- Metacognition. Students need to have ownership of their own learning. One way we can support this, even within the confines of a syllabus-led class, is to be up front about the strategies we use. This lesson plan is an easy one to communicate.
- Buy-in. Some students might not think that group work or fluency activities are “serious.” Particularly adults accustomed to a non-communicative way of language learning. Showing that this is an intentional part of a methodical plan can help them try it out with an open mind.
- Over-thinker support. I am a classic over-thinker. There are lots of detailed lesson planning suggestions out there, and they rightly point out the bazillion factors you should consider in your lesson plan. This one helps me take a step back and see in broad strokes if I have a pretty good plan or if I’ve been rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
Does anyone out there use this lesson planning method?