Process / Objectives
The most important part of a lesson plan is the objectives, which are always stated in terms of the behaviors students will be able to exhibit as a result of the lesson. Most methods books on teaching will describe how objectives should be written. Click here for a brief overview of what makes a good objective. If you need more help with objectives in general, complete this online activity.
Objectives are important because they guide how a teacher should teach and assess. A common generalization is that the best way to teach for an objective is to have the students “doing” in class what the objective described. Likewise, a generalization about assessment is that the assessments should have students doing what the objectives said the students would be able to do. Objectives in Lesson Plans must reflect the specific behaviors that are found in the Standards of Learning Sample Scope and Sequence Guides for English, Science, Mathematics, and History and Social Science. However, teachers may include other objectives that go beyond the SOL and enrich or take learning to a deeper level. Click here to learn more about using the Sample Scope and Sequence Guides. Alignment happens when teachers make sure that these essential elements are included in their planning.
You should ask yourself two questions about objectives:
Are the objectives specific and written in behavioral terms?
Objectives need not be elaborate, but they need to be clear and descriptive of student behavior. Most of the SOL in the scope and sequence guides have bullets under each SOL. These bullets are usually specific enough to be objectives. If a lesson plan reflects that a teacher simply copied an SOL standard and is using this as an objective, you will have to show the teacher how to use the scope and sequence guides. A standard is too broad to be an objective.
Are the objectives aligned with the Standards of Learning?
The scope and sequence guides not only describe aligned objectives, the guides also suggest a logical sequence. In most cases, teachers should not start with SOL 1 and teach SOL 2, and then SOL 3. Nor should teachers assume that a textbook is aligned and that the sequence should be Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.
Now, let's apply what we've learned about objectives to Mrs. Allen's lesson plan. Click here to complete the objectives activity.