Lesson Plans – Methods of Organization
Terah W., Kansas
I’m ‘Fall Cleaning’ at my Studio. Specifically, am trying to streamline several different aspects all the while learning more and more how to use my computer better. Meanwhile, and for the purposes of this request, I am looking for ‘favorite’ methods or ideas from a minimalist point of view for Lesson Plans. From ‘notes from class’ to ‘planning’ a specific class’s next lesson–I am looking to keep things as simple as possible. Sharing a Plan is great; a template, if you please, etc–quite welcome! But am looking as much (if not more!) for the one or two things that you ‘wish you had thought of earlier’!! (Or understood sooner). If I collect a good list I will consolidate and share!
Ruth P., North Carolina
I try to make notes after each class about things I want to be sure and do the following…especially if I wanted to get to something but ran out of time.
I have started writing an agenda on the white board prior to the class. It helps me stay focused and the students can see where we’re headed during the class.
These two ideas have helped me a lot. Hope you find it useful.
Sue C., Australia
I use an individual white board per student or group. Whiteboard is a laminated sheet of white paper. Before laminating, write on universal things like date, name. Lesson number across the top.
On this list I have headings such as review, foundation, playlist, variations, arrangements, accomp, reading, etc., leaving space to fill in details with whiteboard marker. A line across then at the bottom I write “Hear” – these are songs you want to hear played.
Then final heading is … Next lesson. After lesson any relevant info is transferred to your records then erase and write in plan for next lesson.
I hole punch these and keep them separated by the lesson day.
JoAnn G., Kansas
I am still very much in the process of developing this method and it only includes the programs that I am licensed in, but I have created pages for each stream: foundation, arrangements, accompaniment, comp/improv/jazz, and reading. Each stream has a page on an excel file that can be printed and very easily edited. You can print a set of pages for each class & highlight things that you are ready to teach then cross them out when it has been taught.
I actually do mine paperless. I took a screen shot of each page on my ipad and used the picture to create pages in an app called penultimate (99 cents in App Store). Each class has a notebook. Things that have been taught I cross out in red. Things that I am ready to teach I circle in yellow. At the end of each lesson, I photograph the whiteboard and add it to the notebook as well. The next week I start by checking playlists. Then I pull up the picture of the whiteboard and review. When it is time to present new material I turn through the pages in my notebook to choose new assignments (circled in yellow). This gives me a lot of flexibility as far as what I teach in a given week, but I can still see at a glance what my class is ready to learn.
I hope that wasn’t too confusing. It is hard to explain my process without being able to show it…
Jeff O., Massachusetts
Re:Terah’s question about lesson plans on computer, I LOVE a program called Workflowy. It’s free, and it’s basically a list-making app, which hides and “nests” lists. It is great for lesson plans. If you have a laptop or iPad in your lesson, you can update it during the lesson. I print out the week’s lessons and make notes the old-fashioned way during the lesson. Then I update everything at the end of the week.
A page is attached, but it’s hard to get how great this program is just looking at it. For instance, each of the “dots” will open when clicked to reveal, say, ALL the songs in Foundation 3…Check out workflowy.com. I have my whole life and my SM studio on this program.