Monday, November 23, 2009

Lesson Plans

As I've stated before, I put a lot of time into my lesson plans. The New York Times recently ran an article about how some teachers are now selling their lessons.

Gasp! You mean I could have been making money off these things? These lessons that are usually so very specific to the way that I teach?

Oh well.

For the curious, here's a sample of my lessons ... just a taste of my "what are enzymes and how do they function" plan.

Example: Joe was mad at Janet for something stupid. He was planning on having an argument with her after school. Doris heard about this and decided to have some fun so he told Karen that Janet was talking trash about him. Karen texted Joe who got even more angry and stormed off to Janet's classroom to start the argument NOW instead of waiting until after school.

So, the argument would have happened anyway but Doris made it happen faster. Doris was the catalyst, the enzyme.

Now imagine that only Doris could have caused this argument to happen faster -- if Albert had said the same thing, it would not have worked because Joe and Doris are best buds but Joe and Albert are not. Joe will only believe what Doris tells him.

Joe and Janet are the substrates, Doris is the enzyme and the fight is the product. Doris made the fight happen.

The lesson went on from there and included a co-enzyme (someone who egged them on and helped the catalyst do it's work) and an inhibitor (the friend who stepped in and prevented it all from going down).

Will it work for someone else? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on the teacher and on the class. Would I have paid for sample lessons to help me plan years and years ago? Probably not. I didn't make enough money to spare the buck for plans that friends were willing to share for free.

Did I ever use anyone's plan as if it were my own? Once. It was a disaster.

I have, however, taken elements from other people's lessons and adapted them to fit my class and my style. So, had I had the money back then, yes, I probably would have purchased plans, at least once I realized that they were resources, not plans that could be used "out of the box."

And ... in case that wasn't enough for you ... I used this video in class the other day.

*Names have been changed to protect my student's identities. I used the names of actual kids in the class (and in my actual plan) when I taught the lesson. It made it a bit more immediate and real to them.

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