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Brian's Class Materials- FALL 2011 - SEYS 362

SEYS 362 Home

Queens College/CUNY
Education Unit
Fall 2011



by Dr. Brian Murfin

  1. First consult the "THREE C'S" i.e., CULTURE , CURRICULUM , and CONCEPTS . Learn about your students' culture, hobbies, and lifestyles. This information will give you possible ways of making your science lessons more relevant and interesting. Consult the syllabus, for example, the Regents Living Environment syllabus. This will give you an idea of the breadth of the discipline you are supposed to cover. You should also check the National Science Education Standards, the NYC and State Curriculum Frameworks and Standards, and commonly used textbooks. Most importantly, consult with experienced teachers and look at past examinations to get an idea of the depth you are expected to cover on specific topics.
  2. Include a science background section which contains general information on the topic for the teacher's use. With regard to the depth of this science background material, assume that your lesson or unit plan might be used by a substitute teacher who did not have any prior knowledge or experience in this area of science.
  3. Write down the topic, grade level, and date. Keep all your lesson plans in a binder. Next year when you are teaching the same topic you will be able to check if you are behind or ahead of schedule.
  4. Once you have chosen a topic, write out instructional objectives which specify what the students should be able to do or what they should know after they complete the lesson.
  5. After you think of the activity or activities you would like to you will need to specify the materials you will need. List the quantities of all materials and where they can be obtained. Remember, a substitute teacher should be able to come in and teach your lesson using your lesson plan. Also specify any books, software, etc. that might be necessary.
  6. Now you should write out a step by step procedure which includes approximate times for each step.
  7. Your very first act during the lesson should be to gain the students' attention and to motivate them to learn . This is where prior knowledge of the students' cultures, lifestyles, etc. can help. Another way to motivate students is to provide information on prospective careers related to the day's topic. Discrepant events are also a very powerful tool. Finally, the best learning takes place when play is blended with work . The students can and should have fun while they are learning science.
  8. After you have gained the student's attention you need to ascertain the concepts the students hold on the topic in question. This can be done through discussion, careful questioning, surveys, concept maps, etc. A very effective technique for beginning a lesson is to use an advance organizer . An advance organizer provides the students with ideational scaffolding, i.e., a cognitive structure, within which new concepts can be integrated and incorporated through a process of assimilation. An example of an advance organizer would be an overview of the topic, with broad overarching principles described.
  9. Now the procedure for the activity can be described. Any hand-outs, books, materials, etc. should be included with the lesson plan.
  10. Questioning is a very important part of science. Include discussion questions and possible answers in your lesson plan.
  11. Finally, you should have closure for the lesson. Tie up loose ends, summarize, ask stimulating open-ended questions, have students attempt to apply the concepts they've learned to new, novel situations and problems.
  12. Always overplan! Make sure to have contingency plans for finishing early or running out of time. Have some short, quick activities that students could do if they finish early. Be prepared to end the lesson before you have finished the activity.
  13. Evaluate the lesson . What went well, and what could be improved next time?