20 tips for lesson planning and classroom management

Author: Lorna Smith
Published: 17/08/2020
  1. Carefully consider the seating plan in your classroom. Who needs to be right at the front? What is a good place for those who need additional help? Does everyone wear the glasses they need to see the board? Colour-code your seating plan appropriately.

  2. Use the senses. Learning is best when brought through the modalities of hearing, sight, touch and movement. It has been suggested that students retain 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they see and hear, 70% of what they say, and 90% of what they say and do. A cumulative, highly structured, sequential approach which uses multi-sensory materials, tools and software can therefore be very effective.

  3. In a double lesson, build in a break of some kind. Plan in changes in the style of teaching or types of activities.

  4. Begin lessons with a review of the previous lesson. If that's not possible, provide an overview of topics to be covered that day, and/or an outline of the lesson.

  5. Give new information more than once.

  6. Break down learning into small, sequential tasks. Give specific examples.

  7. Don’t be afraid of repeating yourself. Repetition is needed to move the information into the short-term memory – and needs to be regularly revisited to move it into long-term memory.

  8. Use games or songs that encourage repetition.

  9. Can everyone summarise the main points of the lesson? It's common for teachers to summarise what has happened in a lesson, but can your students do this? Check that they can reproduce a sequence, or recap stages of what has been covered, or report back to each other, or use other summarising techniques: if they can remember the 'story' of the lesson, it will help them remember what they have learnt.

  10. Tell students exactly what you want to accomplish in each lesson. For example, tell them the length of the silent working phase, the number of questions to answer, how many words to write, how many paragraphs to produce, etc.

Download all 20 tips for lesson planning and classroom management. 

Lorna Smith

Lorna Smith is Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Bristol.