When drawing up a series of lessons, why is it vital to consider the children to whom the lessons will be taught?
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The short answer is because you have to teach at different levels and in different ways for different kids. When I teach a given part of US History, for example, to high school kids, I make up much different lessons than when I am teaching college. You might also need to consider the learning styles of the kids involved and adjust accordingly.
What good is a well-crafted lesson if it is not suited to the students for which it is intended? If it's too far above or below their ability to understand, they will not have learned anything. If it's presented in a language they aren't familiar enough with to understand, the lesson is a failure. If the subject is not suited to the subject or the students, it's a waste of everyone's time and both teacher and students are likely to become frustrated and uninterested--in which case no real learning can happen.
It is always vital to consider the students and the needs of the students that are being taught when creating lesson plans. If these things are not considered then the kids will not learn what you want them to learn. This is why is it very important that you are familiar with your students. A good teacher always figures out a way to get through to each student in some way.
Lesson planning should always be learners-oriented and learner friendly.
Modern educators keep the child at the centre of the learning process and works just as the facilitator. Otherwise it will be just teaching minus learning.
The learner centered approach of preparing the planner or the curriculum prepares students to face the present rather than facing the future. Students confront with a problem and then start utilising his/her intelligence and experiences based on the past knowledge and this contributes input towards a sound psychological and emotional growth of the young learners.
In order to create good lessons you have to gear it towards the students you are hoping will learn from the lesson. You need to know what they all ready know about the lesson from past experiences and previous lessons. It is also helpful to know what type of learners are in the group.
You must know your audience--and your students are the audience. You must know what terms they know, what skills they posess, and your instruction must be differentiated to meet the needs of multiple students on multiple levels.
Diiferentiated lesson plans allow us to cater for the different ways in which children learn. Some children are visual thinkers while others may be more attuned to auditory or kinesthic learning. A wonderful story which illustrates this is 'Animal School' by George Reavis http://www.janebluestein.com/handouts/animal.html
It is important to be culturally aware and sensitive to the beliefs of students. Not only do we have the challenge of scaffolding for students based upon their varying abilities to read, write, listen, and speak, but we must also take into consideration texts that will not only support the teaching of skills necessary, but engage our students as well. This means knowing the interests of our students, their backgrounds, what they value, and also what materials may be good to infuse to invite discussions about other cultures and beliefs. Additionally, by taking the time to learn about students, we are better able to gauge which materials parents may object to - or which may get parents more involved with their children's activities in school.
One of the very first things a good teacher does is assess the abilities of her students. We have to understand their strengths and weaknesses in order to help them meet the objectives for the course. Think of yourself as a learner. If I were trying to teach you to drive, I would need to know what you already can do. I would tailor my lessons to what you can and cannot do. If you already have a basic understanding of the breaks, gears, blinkers and steering, I could move faster through those explanations than if you had never had any experience with driving before at all. The same is true for teaching writing, math, reading, literature. Even in a classroom, where you have many different ability levels, lessons can be specifically created to engage the types of learners you have. Differientiated teaching is the catchword now.
In the classroom of 2010, we are seeing more and more diversity among each group of students we address each day. They may be the same age or in the same grade, but their capacity to learn or understand may differ enormously, and it's safe to say that kids in the classroom are not only different than they were ten years ago, but the lives they lead and bring into the classroom are different as well.
With this said, you have to teach to students who learn differently. For the student who is an auditory learning, you must speak clearly and describe your points that capture the concepts you are presenting for them. For the visual learner, you have to provide a handout or guide.
It's important to remember that a youngster whose parents just told him or her that they are divorcing could not care less about what you have to say on a particular day, and you have to find a way to reach that child so he/she can make it through your class while he/she struggles to make sense of his/her changing world.
If a student sits in your room who has a parent in jail, or one dead and the other in jail (and I teach in the suburbs), you have to find a way to reach this child as well, even though he or she may not only be devastated, but angry, too.
In addition to different ways of processing information and learning, and personal struggles that interfere with what we are expected to teach our students, special-needs children also need to be taught as well, and this is something that is not just professionally or ethically relevant, but legally necessary.
In trying to address all these different kinds of learners, if you can make your lessons engaging and hands-on, it will make them more meaningful to students, and more satisfying and rewarding for you.
It is a juggling act, there is no doubt. Sometimes you can't imagine how you're going to do it. I find that networking with other teachers in my department or building, or even a grad. class can be very helpful. Some people will be kind enough not just to share ideas with you, but materials as well.
Yes, you need to consider the children. However, you can still design generic lessons that can be tweaked to meet the needs of different classes. If you are designing a lesson and don't have a class in mind, make one up! You'll get practice.
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