As many folks know, I am in the process of writing my fifth book!  It’s about instructional coaching…tentatively titled “How to Coach Teachers to Teach (Almost) Anything” – – – I mean, it’s not like it’s going to be published by Yale or anything, right?  😉

One of the things that I wanted to really drive home for coaches are the fundamental skills that teachers have to have in place.  So, I broke those fundamental skills down into five categories:

  1. Classroom Management
  2. Behavior Management
  3. Engagement
  4. Lesson Planning (the most often un-coached skills that is the starting point of a successful lesson)
  5. Delivery of a Basic Lesson (like the very least the teacher has to do to deliver a successful lesson)

In this series of five blogs, one on each of the topics, I have broken down those skills for you, too!

If you’re a teacher, you can use these as a checklist for lesson planning

If you are a professional developer, you can use this is a checklist for a new teacher (or veteren teacher) training program

If you are a principal, you can use this to help you set your instructional goal and as a tool to determine where you staff might need strengthening.

If you are a coach, you will use these lists to prioritize the content that you will coach.  If a teacher is struggling with any of these, then that struggling point is where your coaching should start.  After all, if a fundamental is missing, then the teacher doesn’t have much of a chance of getting the fancier stuff well implemented.

Here are the Lesson Planning Priority Skills for Coaching

The teacher:

  • Identifies the skill or content that she wants students to master by the end of the lesson
  • Determines whether this content is brand-new and needs to be introduced for the first time or whether it should be linked to previously taught and mastered content
  • Looks at the assessment for this skill or content and determines exactly how students will have to perform the skill to show that they have mastered it
  • Reads through the lesson plan (if there is a prepared lesson plan) highlighting the following: academic language used, routines and procedures already built in, the flow of the lesson (teach, model, guided practice, application), the materials that will need to be prepped
  • Determines how long the lesson will take and plans for engagement techniques to higlight/practice the most important skills
  • Plans to teach any requisite behaviors that the lesson requires
  • Designs an exit ticket/wrap-up response that shows whether the students mastered the skill or content

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