There are many lesson plan models and each district has its own preferred method, but regardless of their layout all lesson plans serve the same purpose no matter what the subject. An effective lesson plan should effectively communicate the objective of the lesson, specify how it will be taught, and define how student learning will be assessed. Let’s look at each of these as they specifically apply to a mathematics lesson plan.
The objective of a mathematics lesson
is most often taken from a list of state standards which have been developed based on the national mathematics standards. Objectives should be very specific and focus on just one specific curriculum focal point per lesson. A curriculum focal point should be mathematically important in the field of mathematics and in real life. It should reflect what has already been proven in the teaching of mathematics, and if should connect with what a student has already learned as well as what they will be expected to learn. Each new concept learned in mathematics becomes the foundation for the next concept to be learned. By keeping each mathematics lesson plan to one concept at a time the students are given the opportunity to truly understand it and display mastery before moving on to the next step and eventually the next concept. This provides them with confidence and promotes a positive mathematical attitude. For example a student must first understand repeated addition before they can truly understand multiplication even though they can “do” multiplication without being taught repeated addition.
The “how” in a mathematics lesson plan refers to the specifics of how the lesson will be taught, what materials will be used to teach it and the activities the students will engage in. All of these center around the objective being taught. This part of the mathematics lesson plan must be extremely detailed. A well laid out lesson plan insures the students will be actively engaged at all times which prevents off task behavior. Activities should be hands on as well as paper and pencil. Student activities should also include the use of manipulatives whenever possible as first allowing children to work with something concrete helps them move to the abstract.
The final part of a mathematics lesson plan is the assessment. Every mathematics lesson should end with either a formal or informal assessment to prevent them from continuing on to more difficult materials before they are ready. Daily assessment assures each child’s needs are properly addressed before they are expected to learn something new.
These steps can be used to guide you in creating your own lesson plans or when searching for lesson plans online. With the many mathematics lesson plans available it is important to make absolutely sure they are quality plans before choosing to use them for instruction.