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Unit 9 covered the formation of planning lessons. This is somewhat of an art, and its relevance and helpfulness is a topic of debate. But especially for those who are just beginning to teach others, a lesson plan is a vital part of ensuring successful lessons and teaching function improvement. Three important functions of the writing of lesson plans are as follows: 1. An aid to planning. It helps the mind make a logical progression from expected achievements to actually achieving the objectives. 2. A working document. A written lesson plan helps keep a teacher on track, from not spending too much time on any one task to not getting flustered when a change of plans is required. 3. A record. A written lesson plan provides a record of the class for each day and can act as a memory jog and also as an aid for a substitute teacher. The basic principles of lesson planning are: 1. Keep it simple - easy to refer to during the lesson 2. Do not try to script the lesson 3. Structure it and maintain the same structure 4. Write the anticipated time for each activity in the margin 5. Check for balance of skills. 6. Keep it flexible and open to adaptation. Being organized will greatly improve the chances that the lesson goes according to plan. Some things that are essential to being well organized are: 1. Check that you have your lesson plan. 2. Run through your lesson plan and make sure you have all of the necessary aids and materials needed. 3. Check that the equipment works! 4. Lay out materials and aids so that you can easily find them. 5. Arrange the seating as desired. 6. Make sure the board is clean. 7. Be ready to chat with the students as they come into class. Lesson plan contents - this unit provided a very thorough yet concise and easy to use lesson plan template. Recommendations for items to include in a lesson plan are: 1. Learner objectives - what the students should be able to do by the end of the class 2. Personal aims - things I as a teacher wish to achieve for personal improvement 3. Language point - the main language item(s) to cover and how it fits with previous and next lessons 4. Teaching aids - handouts and other aids for the lesson 5. Anticipated problems for both student and teacher - and solutions that help facilitate the lesson 6. Procedure - the list of activities for the class to achieve the objective(s) 7. Procedure phase - engage, study or activate 8. Timing of each procedure - how long a particular activity should take 9. Interaction for each procedure - is this a teacher-student activity, student-student or alone? 10. Class level 11. Number of students 12. Date/time - for a historical record 13. Teacher and Observer names Sometimes (often?) it's better to plan a sequence of lessons so that they will work together smoothly. But there are some special considerations: 1. Flexibility - plans will need to be revised if there is an unexpected change along the way 2. Goals - periodic and overall goals for the sequence, such as quizzes or major review lessons 3. Review - as students build on their current knowledge, the teacher will need to help them constantly review the previously learned material. 4. Variety and balance - for effective learning, and also to keep the interest of the students. The tasks from previous units had already requested that we build ESA lesson plans based on a certain topic. However, this unit really homed in on the specifics of building effective and useful lesson plans. I had never thought to include things about myself such as noting things I might struggle with in the lesson, and also the things I seek to improve in my own teaching skills. I know there is often a thought in my mind ahead of class - "This time I'm going to make sure I leave enough time for an end-of-class activity", etc., but I can see that actually writing down the things you'd like to improve in your teaching would help keep you mindful of that objective as you glance at your lesson plan while you teach the class.