Learning Cycles & Lesson Plans


Student Performance Objectives:

PHY 311 Course Syllabus

Learning Theories and Cycles (PPT presentation)

Lesson Plan Guidelines:

Lesson plans must be inquiry-oriented and student-centered; if several are called for, they must also be sequential; they must adhere to the content area identified by the teacher. Any series of lessons must incorporate one or more complete learning cycles.

The focus of each lesson should be on answering a key question rather than merely purveying knowledge. Simply asking lots of questions during a lesson does not make it an inquiry-oriented lesson. Students should be actively engaged in hypothesizing, experimenting, collecting, analysing, and interpreting data, drawing conclusions based upon empirical evidence, and communicating results. The use of technology is a plus. Avoid at all costs expository lecture-demonstration approaches. Before planning your lesson, be certain to have:

  1. determined with the help of the cooperating teacher the general strand of teaching
  2. identified a major goal within that strand; and
  3. identified major objectives within that goal.

Title: Clearly identify the lesson topic by name.

Statement of Goal: The teaching/learning goal must be inquiry oriented. The lesson goal should state what the students are expected to know and be able to do at the end of the lesson. The goal should include aims in relation to content knowledge, intellectual and/or physical process skills, and dispositions as appropriate.

Inquiry-Oriented Student Performance Objectives: Objectives for students should consist of readily observable behaviors or performance tasks. Students must be made aware of day-to-day objectives. Provide two to five inquiry-oriented student performance objectives for each lesson. Hint: See for example the student performance objectives hyperlinked to the PHYSICS 310 course syllabus at http://phy.ilstu.edu/pte/310.html. More importantly, look ahead to the PHY 312 course syllabus at http://phy.ilstu.edu/pte/312.html and see the hundreds of student performance objectives listed under course outline topics.

Alignment with ILS: The goals and objectives of this lesson must be aligned with Illinois Learning Standards, including Applications of Learning. In a concise statement, explain how the each complies with directives of the Illinois Learning Standards.

Anticipatory Set: Explain how you will link the current lesson with any previous related lesson. The anticipatory set is included to ensure that the students are ready for this lesson as the next lesson in a series of lessons. These introductory activities focus student attention, provide for very brief practice on previous objectives, and develop readiness for the current lesson.

Instructional Strategies: Classroom activities must be inquiry-oriented. Instructional activities should be described. Include estimated times for each activity. Use diverse and effective actions, strategies and methodologies to teach science.

Skills of Teaching:

Interactions: Tell how you will make this lesson student-centered. Explain how you will interact effectively with students to promote learning and assess student achievement.
Student Groupings
: Tell how you will organize and manage science activities effectively in different student groupings.
Preconceptions: List the known preconceptions associated with this content area.

Making Connections: Each lesson should include one or more of following three components:

Closure/Assessment: There has to be a logical means for drawing conclusions from the lesson. How will this be done? (N.B. Failure to achieve closure is one of the major reasons why students develop a resistance to inquiry, e.g., "The teacher doesn't tell us anything.") Explain how you will as teacher determine whether or not the goal and objectives for the days' lessons has been achieved (formative assessment), and how students will know what they supposedly learned from the lesson. How will you assess the objectives in an informal though meaningful manner? List here a series of questions - related dirctly to the stated student performance objectives - that you might use to check for student understanding of the content of the lesson.

 Materials: What materials will you need to teach your lesson? Because science teaching can be so materials intense, it's a good idea to make a list of everything that you'll need so that nothing is forgotten.

Return to PHY 311 Course Outline

(last updated 5/16/08)