[Skip to page content]
< Back

Creating a Lesson Plan for Student Success

We at NMSI know that a good teacher gives 100% and then some to their students – yes even in the summer. We know you truly care about your students, and the thrill of seeing them soar in the classroom is exhilarating, but we know it’s easy for teachers to hit brick walls with their creativity and become overwhelmed with their workload. So we’re back to give you a brainstorming session on ways to create a lesson plan. We reached out to our in-house NMSI subject matter experts – just as we did for one of our previous posts – and they have provided great tips/strategies that you can use for creating an out of this world lesson plan.

◾Integrate the state’s standards within your own strategies. This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s an important step to bear in mind when you are outlining your agenda for the school year because everything you do must work towards those high levels of excellence. This can be daunting for a new teacher, and it can be challenging for an experienced one, but it is definitely possible. One way to make this process easier is to evaluate your strategies and activities and make sure they are all connected. When it comes to English, you can integrate reading, grammar, vocabulary, and composition together by teaching elements of each from within the same text. For math and science, you should make sure that your students are making relevant connections between the two subjects in conversation and practice. By doing these things, you are ensuring that your students are actually learning and understanding the material, which will prepare them more than anything for college and their careers.

◾Design your own syllabus for optimum results. Some teachers may be provided with a syllabus to work from at the beginning of the year, but we believe that it is more effective to customize one of your own. First, you should start with the school calendar and figure out how many days of teaching you actually have. Once you have that number, create a list of major topics based on your subject, and then decide which lessons that you currently use will give you the most connections across these topics. But don’t make the lessons boring and repetitive! Branch out and diversify the types of activities that you want your students to complete throughout the week or grading period. You will get better results this way, because your students will think your class is active and fun because you are an awesome teacher – which you are! And if you don’t have any fun lessons that will create those relevant connections, check out our free NMSI lessons.

◾Listen to your students and be flexible with your approach. No matter how much lesson planning and preparation you do before class, everything can change at the drop of a hat. So before you go into class with a concrete agenda, find out what your students do and do not know. You can do this through pre-assessments, activities, or even just simple discussions. Any of these strategies will allow you to gauge your class’ level of readiness, which is absolutely critical to know – knowing, after all, is half the battle. Colin Hussey does a great job of highlighting the importance of classroom discussions in his Edudemic article, and he also suggests some creative ideas for facilitating active learning, which will help you to further gauge the level of your class’ readiness. Once you have this knowledge, then you can plan your lessons accordingly – and change things up! Every class and student is different, so don’t be afraid of altering your teaching tactics. Break things down if you have to. In fact, dividing lessons into segments that can be taught over a series of class periods can be a great method to help your students internalize the concepts they are learning, because it will give them the time they need to digest and process the information.

But no matter the approaches that you may take, above all else, you must always listen and care for the needs of your students. They are your number one priority, and their success must come before everything else.