I loved writing out a good lesson plan. And I was always disappointed when an administrator didn’t look in my plan book on my desk for the lesson plan. There was some art (and a few arrows) there – and my boss missed it. If you are trying out Blended Learning in your classroom and do not yet have a perfect way to represent it, you might not want your Administrator to look at your plan book – let’s change that!
Teachers who embrace blended learning struggle with how to represent that blended learning to administrators less fluent in blended learning. How could your lesson plan make it clearer to your administrator the totality of the learning in your classroom?
First, let’s differentiate between just adding technology to your lesson plan and actually writing a blended learning lesson plan.
Adding tech does not make your classroom a blended learning epicenter. Your lesson plan reveals to the administrator walking through your classroom where participants are in their learning. By making a blended learning lesson plan clear and concise, your administrator can quickly understand what s/he is viewing. “Hey, this teacher is not only using technology but has thoughtfully created a blended learning environment. I see it here in his/her lesson plan. This is a format that I can fully understand and I now know what is going on.” I am sure that is pretty close to Administrator self-talk? It isn’t just signing out the iPad cart, blended learning involves asynchronous learning to shift time around for more personal instruction. And that is complex to represent on paper to someone who is not practiced in blended learning.
Second, some of us have to turn in strict lesson plans while others maintain plan books.
I guess you already know which you are. Looking at lesson plans can inform those keeping plan books, but plan books are not as helpful to those required to submit strict lesson plans. If you need to talk it out, that is what blog comment sections are for luckily.
If you are confident in your understanding of blended learning and you are ready to thoughtful represent it in your lesson plan and/or plan book consider some of the following formats:
Label the Parts
I like the lesson plan “Blended Learning Lesson Plan Template 2” as a simple, straightforward look at the components of what your class is doing identifiable by ‘activity’ in the classroom. This represents a more linear classroom sequence, and might not overtly present differentiation in its current form. This could be a good way to start laying out different activities during a class period and then considering ways to remix them based on student needs. This also fits nicely horizontally into a plan book and if already have a handle on ‘how’ students rotate through these stages of learning in your room.
Sketch it Out
Here is a “Lesson Plan Workflow” from Horry County Schools. This is a very generic start to a lesson plan, but the facet I really like is the classroom layout/sketch. You could number any stations sequentially if students progress through at their own pace, you could include grouping/regrouping lists of students; that layout/sketch could really orient your administrator.
Columns in Plan Book
Here is something which could fit into my plan book: make two columns for computer-based versus face-to-face Instruction. If details are not required, this listing of asynchronous versus synchronous learning activities is great for your plan book.
Block Scheduling Length
For my colleagues on block-scheduling, these are long-form lesson plan examples.
Projects over Time
This is something you might turn into to your undergraduate education professor, but maybe have/modify/repurpose some of these for your go-to lengthy Blended Learning projects, explorations?
Try and Share
Try some of these formats, share which work for you and which would not be a good fit. We are all learning; most recently Administrators are learning how to include blended learning in evaluations – help them identify all the moving parts in carefully crafted blended learning environments.