I wanted to format my two lessons plans in a similar fashion even though one focused on reading and the other focused on writing. I broke the lessons up into three parts each. By having a “pre” section before the students began working on the main focus of the lesson, the students would be prepared for the task they needed to complete. The “pre” section focuses on the key vocabulary for the day and the teacher would also outline both the language and content objectives for the day so the students knew what the goal of the lesson was. The “pre” section also incorporates skills that are useful for all subjects, such as the use of graphic organizers or knowing how to look up words in a dictionary.
During the lesson, I wanted to make sure that the students had many opportunities for interaction between each other and with the teacher. This is why I incorporated group work and had the teacher walking around to monitor and also having her provide models for the students. When the students are given opportunities for interaction, they can learn from each other and help each other with challenging subjects. This will be both beneficial for the students who are helping and the students who are learning. The one who is helping will grow stronger in their understanding of the material because they have to explain it in a way that is comprehensible to the other students. Because the students themselves know what makes concepts easier to understand, the students who are struggling will learn the concepts in a different way than the teacher would express them.
Throughout the lessons, I also tried to incorporate the different language skills even though there was one skill in particular that was focused upon. For example, during the reading lesson, the students had to practice their speaking skills because they will have to discuss questions with their fellow classmates and answer questions the teacher poses. They will also focus on writing at the end because they will be asked to journal at the end of the lesson. In the writing lesson, the students are also working on their speaking skills by presenting their speeches and discussing concepts with each other.
I incorporated a “post” section in each lesson planning so that the students would be able to make connections between what they focused on in the main part of the lesson and their real lives. For each lesson, there were hands-on activities (such as making the creation out of recycled products and the Diversity Potluck) that would engage the students in the subject they had studied. I feel like this is the most important section of my lesson plans because it shows the students why what they are learning is important and how it affects them. If students see why something is important, they will be more motivated to learn the subject.
I used the Popsicle sticks in both lessons. This is something my high school language teachers used that I thought was very beneficial for moving the lesson along at a good speed. When the students need to present something, there will be times when no one wants to present and the teacher will need to decide who goes first. The Popsicle sticks are an effective way to make that decision because the teacher does not need to waste time trying to encourage students to volunteer. Also, during classroom discussions, it is a way to encourage the students to remain focused. If the students stop listening and they are called on to answer a question, they will feel embarrassed if they do not know what the teacher said. However, if the students know that they may be called on randomly, they will be more alert so this does not happen to them. This is the same rationale behind using the “popcorn!” game. All the students will have to remain focused on the reading even when they are not themselves reading because they could be called on at any moment. The “popcorn!” game also makes the reading more fun and engaging for the students.
I wanted to incorporate as many of the elements of the SIOP model as I could in these lessons including emphasizing the content and language objectives, as well as the key vocabulary; interaction between the students and teacher; practicing all language skills; making connections and using hands-on activities; etc.