Borich Chapter 4 Reflection

Teacher as decision maker means there are four primary inputs to the planning process (no wait, 5)

  1. knowledge of content standards and objectives
  2. knowledge of learner characteristics
  3. knowledge of subject matter
  4. knowledge of teaching methods
  5. Tacit knowledge acquired from day-to-day experiences and feedback in the classroom.

Reflective practice is allowing your knowledge of content and methods to change as your formal university training interacts with your actual classroom experience.  (Borich, 2010, p. 113)

Tacit knowledge is reflection on what works in your classroom, discovered over time and through personal experience.

State Standard and Curriculum Guides (I’ve never seen one of the latter, have you?).  “Clearly specify the content that must be covered and in what period of time.”  (Borich, 2010, p. 115).


  • Make Planning Decisions
    • Standards and objectives
      • simple recall?
      • comprehension needed?
      • application needed?
      • analysis, synthesis, decision-making required?
    • Learners
    • Content (what level)
    • Outcomes
  • Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Unit Planning
    • Disciplinary (Vertical) keeps in mind
        • hierarchy
        • task-relevant prior knowledge
      • Visualizing Specific Teaching Activities
        • simple diagram, boxes to represent “chunks”
      • Visualizing the Sequence of Activities
      • The Written Unit Plan
    • Interdisciplinary (Lateral) Unit Plans
        • Focus is on a theme
        • Example
        • Thematic units


      • The Spectrum of Integrated Curricula, four ways to implement integrated thematic teaching (Parkay  & Hass, 2005)
        • Level 1:  the theme
        • Level 2: consult with other teachers to get buy-in
        • Level 3:  teacher and students work together to form a list of common themes
        • Level 4:  students work on their own to list themes across disciplines
      • Visualizing Your Interdisciplinary Unit
      • The Written Unit Plan
        • main purpose
        • behavioral objectives
        • content
        • procedures and activities
        • instructional aids and resources
        • evaluation methods
  • Making Lesson Plans
    • Determine where to start
    • Providing for Learning Diversity
      • Task-Ability grouping (sounds like mini-tracking?)
      • Learning Centers (and real world problem solving)
      • Review and Follow-Up material (keep extras on hand)
      • Tutoring (peer mentoring and cross-age tutoring)
      • Interactive Instructional DCD-ROMS (interactive individualized practice activities = only as good as the individualization is)
      • Online and Desktop Simulations and Games (I really resonate with this stuff.)
      • Fiber Optics/Telecommunications (living curriculum)
        • Search beyond local libraries
        • Become more specialized and focused on current issues
        • Cooperate with other learners at a distance to create class newspapers
        • Work with cross-age mentors
  • Events of Instruction
      • Learning refers to internal events that go on inside your learners’ heads
      • Teaching is the sum of the instructional activities you provide to influence what goes on in your learner’s heads.
    • Getting Started:  Some Lesson Planning Questions
      • what do you want the students to know and be able to do?
      • to what state standards and curriculum guide will this content relate?
      • Why would your student care or want to know about this topic?  (!!!)
      • How ill you know when your students have achieved the goal of the lesson?
      • What engaging and worthwhile learning tasks will you ask your students to complete.
      • What instructional practices will you use with this lesson to provide evaluative feedback.
    • Gaining Attention (Anticipatory Set)
    • Informing Learners of the Objective (Anticipatory Set, Objectives, Purpose)
    • Stimulating Recall of Prerequisite Learning (Review)
    • Presenting the Content (Input, Modeling)
      • Authenticity
      • Selectivity
      • Variety
    • Eliciting the Desired Behavior (Checking for Understanding, Guided Practice)
    • Providing Feedback (Guided Practice, Closure)
    • Assessing the Lesson Outcome (Independent Practice)
  • Example Lesson Plans
    • Reading Skills
    • Literature and U.S. History
    • Language Arts
    • Consumer Mathematics
      • contrived somewhat?
    • Science:  Manipulative Laboratory Skills

What I liked most in this chapter was the suggestion to use visual planners and the notion that you could just check off learning events for most lessons.  That makes the structure easy but still leaves the creativity of the lesson to us, the teachers.

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  • tanshu  On August 2, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I also agree that by writing down schedule of the day, you avoid students always asking you what are we doing. However it does not stop them from still asking.

  • Shandra Iannucci  On August 7, 2011 at 3:32 am

    I think that checking off learning events for each lesson makes a lot of sense. It might even be a good idea to have “checkpoints” built into the lesson so that the students themselves can consciously check off the learning objectives.

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