Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Keeping it simple
It's been a random thinking day. I blame it on the King of Phlegm that has once again lodged in my lungs.
As with personal finances, keeping lesson plans as simple and easy as possible has always led me to better teaching overall. The complicated stuff doesn't go very well when the basic procedures and knowledge haven't created a firm foundation yet.
In the planning stage, I always prep more than can possibly be done in the given time. Just because I like contingency plans - in case of extra time. But in the end, I shed a lot of the extraneous stuff for a more focused lesson. Students have more fun, learn stuff more in depth, allows new knowledge to sink in, and relaxes everyone because they know what we need to do that day isn't an impossible list that will never get finished.
There are so many great, great lesson ideas out there, every where - in my head, on the internet, in my colleague's heads. I can think of great lesson ideas just from staring at a tree (climbing it, measuring it, crayon rubs of leaves to study their structures, etc). It'll probably take 10 years to even get half of my ideas realized.
Still, I like to think of these things, even when I know I'll opt for the streamlined version. It's just fun to imagine all the possibilities.