Planning your lessons is an essential task to effective teaching.
Start with WHY.
Why are you going to be teaching this content, and why do you think it's important for your students to learn it? Begin with an Enduring Understanding - one, simple sentence describing what you want the students to understand long after your lesson is done. An Enduring Understanding can last through many lessons, even a whole year!
Leslee's 2018-2019 6th Grade Enduring Understanding:
The more we learn, the more we find Judaism within ourselves.
Know the WHAT.
Study your content before the lesson. Refresh your memory with Google searches if you need to, grab a book from the library, or review with a colleague. A prepared teacher has a solid grasp of lesson content before entering the classroom to teach.
With the HOW, think WOW.
Education and leadership coach Sarah Singer-Nourie knows that experience comes before content. She advocates for lessons to have interesting activities first in the lesson. She knows that if you can grab students' attention, lesson content has something to "stick" to. Try creative activities that engage students early in the lesson, and wait to add terms, explanation, and details until students have had the chance to invest their focus in your lesson.
With me so far?
Assess your students' understanding of the content before moving on. Build time into your lesson for assessment to ensure students feel comfortable expressing their questions or asking for clarification. Use easy assessment systems like red-yellow-green, or a scale of 1-5 to quickly see which students in the class feel they understand, need some help, or feel lost.