lesson planning time management

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lesson planning time management

Post by Madeline » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:42 pm

I am a new ESL teacher and as a teacher I love to have lesson plans that students will enjoy all the time. I want to be creative as possible. It's not easy to do this when I do not have much resources to work with and not too much experience. I like on hands activities and visuals...I find that my kids enjoy that more. I almost found myself spending a lot of money at the teacher store but I can't really afford it. I like the fact that I have a curriculum to follow because I would be all over the place. I find myself spending my weekends doing lesson plans. I hope it will not be like this forever. What advise do you have for setting out time to do lesson planning with out doing it on the weekends?

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Individual differences

Post by Madeline » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:47 pm

I understand that lesson planning should aim mostly at the majority of the students I teach in class who compose the "average" ability range. I have a couple who are well below average. How do you suggest I manage this when I have two different groups, 45 min a group. How can I make sure the lower level students needs are being met with the same lesson plan because I can't do two lessons in 45 min. Examples please...thanks.

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Time management

Post by simone.brazil » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:51 pm

Dear Madie,
I understand that according to NJ laws students need to have at least 45 minutes of ESL instructions daily, however I feel like sometimes you can manage this time depending on the subject being taught and level of proficiency. If you feel that your first group gasped the content and you are done with the lesson before your time is up there is no need to keep them, instead you could give the low level of proficiency students extra time that day or even work 15 minutes one on one with the student that is struggling the most. This is not supposed to happen everyday but it sure can happen once in a while for the sake of your students and your lesson.

Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:31 pm

Your first year you don't sleep, you don't keep any of your money and you make all sorts of mistakes. It is just the way it is for your first year. Older teachers have their materials and lesson plans in hand and just adjust as they go.

You can do some things to save money. Get the students to make your materials with school supplies if they have them. Then you can keep them for many years. They can make posters, flashcards, games, books and exercises for other students. This will keep the students who know the materials busy and productive while you work with the slower students.

If you have stations with different activities at different levels, students can move around and do the activity at their level. Again, have the students help you design the activities and the ones who understand can help the lower level students when they finish their task. Not all students want to help others but you will know who will be the "teachers" in the group.

Get other classes to make you materials in their arts and craft classes. They can also make tapes for the classes, reading books for them, making short movies, making picture dictionaries, making books with old pictures they have drawn and writing a story or with greeting cards or drawings.

Get the older students in the school to volunteer to read with slower students. They can come in during their gym, art, or music classes once a week or when they have library. Older students often love to read to younger ones. They can teach them how to play educational games or games that they might use on the playground at recess. They can run the projector for films or videos for one of your stations. They can help to sort and store materials. Sometimes they credit for this in some schools.
They will often help out the ESL students on the playground because they get to know them in your class.

You can sleep in the holidays and it will not be like this for your whole teaching career. There doesn't seem to be any way around that first year though. You will, however, remember it for the rest of your life and those first students will be your favourites. Just learn from your mistakes and be gentle with yourself. No one is perfect and the kids usually survive. (Not all teachers do, so don't beat yourself up too much.)

When you are retiring, give all your materials to a first year teacher. She/he will be forever grateful (and probably never use half of them because things will have changed so much in the 30 or so years you have been teaching.)

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