LESSON PLANNING=The BIG 4 and a Couple More!

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The Big Four

Essential Questions to Reflect Upon When PLANNING

As the teacher, your goal is to ensure the students are engaged in learning the state standards and grade level content by providing them with a learning environment designed to meet their individual needs, engage and motivate, and empower each to achieve to their potential. This requires putting together a lesson plan that addresses the needs of all students while meeting state standards and grade level content. Therefore by asking specific questions with the end result in mind it can empower educators to design curriculum that is meaningful, student-centered, hands-on, and addresses the needs of ALL students through differentiation with added supports as needed. This is not an easy task to accomplish all of the above but to provide excellence in education we must try. Therefore my recommendation is to focus on the BIG FOUR Questions to drive your lesson planning. Plus, by thinking about a couple more, the lesson plan can provide the skills and strategies that teach kids “how to learn” and “how to access their resources” while preparing them to be social engineers and achieve to their potential!


  1. What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson? How are these objectives related to national, state, and district standards? How are these objectives related to the big ideas/critical concepts of the course? Consult your state and district learning standards and your district curriculum for guidance with this question. This is the most important question as it is the specific reason for the lesson. It should be naming what the result of the lesson will be.
  2. How will students demonstrate what they know and what they can do? What will be the assessment criteria, and what form will it take? Then after the lesson how will you know if the goal was actually accomplished? By doing some form of informal or formative assessment the answer provides the next lesson.
  3. How will I learn what students already know, and how will I help them access what they know and have experienced both inside and outside the classroom? How will I help them build on prior experiences, deal with misconceptions, and re-frame their thinking when appropriate?
    *WHAT will I do if they already know the information and need a challenge (High achiever or Gifted)? WHAT will I do if they do not have the necessary Pre-requisite skills (at-risk or special needs) for the lesson?
  4. How will new Knowledge, concepts, and skills be introduced? Given the diversity of my students and the task analysis, what are my best options for sources and presentation modes? How will I meet the needs of ALL students in my classrooms to create a learning environment that is inclusive, diverse, allows ALL to be a part of the Learning Community respectfully and safely, and promotes equity, character, SEL, and academic potential?


  1. How will I facilitate student processing (meaning-making) of new information or processes? What key questions, activities, and assignments (in class or homework) will promote understanding, retention, and transfer?
  2. What shall I use as formative assessments or checks for understanding during the lesson? How can I use the data from those assessments to inform my teaching decisions?
  3. What do I need to do to scaffold and extend instruction so that the learning experiences are productive for all students? What are the multiple ways students can access information and then process and demonstrate their learning?
  4. How will I frame the learning so that students know the objectives, the rationale for the goals and activities, the directions and procedures, and the assessment criteria at the beginning of the learning process?
  5. How will I build in opportunities for students to make real-world connections and learn and use the rigorous and complex thinking skills they need to succeed in the classroom and the world beyond?
  6. What adjustments need to be made in the learning environment to work and learn efficiently during this study?

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countdown, finger, four-157714.jpg

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

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