Guest post: How many learning episodes are in your lesson plans?

John Winstanley from Angel Solutions has written this post to discuss learning episodes within lesson plans, using data from real lesson plans teachers are creating on the new 5 Minute Lesson Plan website…

We took a sample of nearly 500 anonymised lesson plans created on www.5minutelessonplan.co.uk by teachers all over the world. We then analysed how many learning episodes teachers chose to include in each of their plans and whether these were primarily student- or teacher-led. The idea is to see what we can glean from REAL lesson plans teachers are actually using with their classes right now.

Overall, the number of learning episodes in each plan varied. However, it’s striking that nearly half of the plans (44%, to be precise) included a total of 4 learning episodes in the anonymised sample.

 

Number-of-learning-episodes

There were also more student-led episodes than teacher-led.

 

Pie New

Lessons with 4 learning episodes were more likely to be led by a teacher in the first episode, and led by students in the last episode.

4 episodes

None of this data is designed to be conclusive. We all know that lesson plans vary and different teachers will prefer different approaches. But only a week after launching the digital 5 Minute Lesson Plan tool, it’s already showing interesting trends in how teachers like to plan their lessons.

Your plans might stay in your mind, be beautifully crafted, or just be roughly sketched out. You might use a checklist, progress map or other tool instead of the digital 5 Minute Lesson Plan. We know that Ofsted don’t expect to see lesson plans. And even within this new digital tool there is no prescribed, or even suggested, number of learning episodes.

So now we ask, do you think there is a ‘best’ approach to planning?

How do you like to plan your lessons? How important is it to you to have every learning episode planned out? Do you stick to your plans most of the time, or are they simply a tool to help you crystalise your ideas? How do you store, organise or re-use your plans?

These are all valuable questions to be asking, as teachers struggle to stay on top of their lesson planning whilst also seeking to deliver the best possible lessons.

 

The digital version of the 5 minute lesson plan was created by Angel Solutions Ltd (@angel_solutionshttp://www.angelsolutions.co.uk/) and Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkithttp://teachertoolkit.me/)

 

Thoughts, feedback or questions for John or Ross? Please let us know in the comments, via Twitter, or get in touch directly at: www.5minutelessonplan.co.uk/contact 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove angel_solutions TeacherToolkit Out of interest, what is a “learning episode”? I reckon I can guess but…

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove angel_solutions TeacherToolkit Personally I prefer lessons to be a bit “organic” based on the needs of the class 1/2

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove angel_solutions TeacherToolkit It takes a bit of experience (I’m old) & having stuff dependent on class’ needs 2/2

  4. Janet2

    My individual lesson plans used to be an idea in my head based on where the class was and where I wanted them to end up.  Sometimes I scribbled down notes to remind myself of resources needed, pertinent questions etc.  But most of the time they were not written down, or categorised according to goals, ‘learning episodes’ etc.  That way we could veer off into uncharted waters if the lessons swung that way.

  5. Janet2

    My individual lesson plans used to be an idea in my head based on where the class was and where I wanted them to end up.  Sometimes I scribbled down notes to remind myself of resources needed, pertinent questions etc.  But most of the time they were not written down, or categorised according to goals, ‘learning episodes’ etc.  That way we could veer off into uncharted waters if the lessons swung that way.

  6. Janet2

    Winstanley_John I’m retired, John.  I was lucky enough to teach at a time when teachers were trusted to do the best for their pupils without having to give written proof.  That said, I did co-author and share suggested lessons for PSHE which were well-received.

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