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Lesson Planning Tips For First-time Teachers

Lesson Planning Tips For First-time Teachers


Whilst teaching your first class can be exciting, it can also be daunting. Preparation is key when planning lessons and understanding the structure of a lesson. You need to determine what your goal is for teaching a particular unit and how you will assess the students' learning. Then you can deal with lessons for individual days. Once you've determined your goal for a particular lesson, you are ready for your lesson plan.



Most lessons should start with a review of some kind, to make sure that students know what you taught (and you hope what they learned) in the last lesson. If you are starting a whole new topic, review by showing how the new material fits into what students learnt before.


Introduce new material

How you do it depends on your particular subject. Write the topics of the day on the board so students know what they are doing throughout the day or lesson. You could use your smart board if available, or even display this on student’s computer screens (a feature of AB Tutor).


Ask students questions

Talking at students does not teach them. They lose focus and engagement. Obviously you need to talk to tell students information they need, but they should be doing most of the talking, answering questions. Challenge all students to answer the questions if possible throughout the lesson.



Students need to practice the material they learnt during the lesson. They can solve problems, answer questions, create their own questions (all these can be done in small groups), read a section of material and respond to it either aloud or in writing, and so on. Students generally need to practice what you are trying to teach them so that they can incorporate the new material into their understanding.


Assign homework

Assign homework (if you are planning to do it) by writing it on the board. You can also distribute homework material online by using AB Tutor. This is important - don't just tell the class. Most will miss it unless it is on the board and you leave sufficient time for the students to write it down.


Try index cards

One tip is to ask students to complete two questions on an index card as their ticket out of class - on one side they write something they learned during the class, and on the other side one thing they are still confused about.


Keep your lesson plans!

It is helpful to note after class what worked and what didn't, and what you could do to make it better. This is a lot of work, but it will help you in future years when you review how you taught certain material. Lesson plans can also be reused.


It’s always better to have too much material than not enough! Try to over plan lessons so that strong students are challenged throughout the lesson.


AB Tutor can make planning lessons easier and allows teachers to display lesson plans on students screens, keep watch on progress from afar via our screen sharing feature and allow file sharing.

We’d be happy to give you a free online demonstration of our software.

You can request yours by clicking here. To view all features, click here.