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Sample Writing Prompt

Lesson planning is an essential component of effective teaching. You are a mentor teacher and your principal has asked you to help new teachers become more thoughtful and productive in their lesson planning. Write a memo to the new teachers discussing the role lesson planning plays in effective teaching. In your memo, include the types of information that ought to be included in a lesson plan, the reasons why lesson plans are useful, and what can happen if you do not sufficiently plan lessons.

Your response will be evaluated based on how well you communicate your message to the intended audience, not on your personal opinions, position, or point of view. Your response will be evaluated based on how well organized and focused your writing is, how well you develop and elaborate on your ideas, and your grammar and mechanics.

Test-Taking Tip

Make sure you address the entire prompt. If it asks for three points or multiple examples, make sure you include that in your response.

Example of a “4” Response

To: New Teachers Fr: Head, High School Department Subject: Effective Lesson Planning

As we welcome the new schoolyear, I would like to stress to everyone that it is every teacher’s goal to help each student become successful in school. How are we going to achieve this goal? One sure step is through effective lesson planning. The lesson plan is a tool that guides you in fulfilling your goal. It must include important information such as objectives, materials and motivation, to name a few. Lesson plans are useful because, among many other reasons, they remind us to teach to objectives. It is so unfortunate that a lot of classrooms nowadays are encountering behavioral problems and poor student performance. But these are just some of the problems that arise when lessons are not sufficiently planned.

An effective lesson plan includes very important information. These are: (1) objectives that state what the end results will be, (2) materials and equipment which lists the resources needed for the day, (3) motivation or anticipatory set, a focusing event that is part of the opening exercise, (4) prior knowledge assessment, that will be used to determine exactly what you have to review or introduce, (5) explanation or teacher input, that refers to what you are going to do or say to make your points, (6) student activities, that make use of both guided and individual practice, (7) closure, an activity designed to reinforce learning, (8) assessment and finally (9) homework.

A carefully designed lesson plan defines success in the classroom. Both you and your students will gain more from a lesson plan that has been thoughfully written. For one thing, it provides unity of objectives and activities. The class will be aiming for the same objectives so that the students themselves are aware that learning is taking place. Another reason why lesson plans are useful is that they ensure correct use of alloted time for the subject. Being aware of the things that you and your students need to accomplish result to very little or almost no time wasted. Moreover, if lessons are carefully planned, minimal problems will be encountered. Problems concerning behavior and poor academic performance will be lessened.

If lessons are not appropriately planned, you can expect to encounter problems in your classroom. Where time is not adequately used for lesson material, students have time to get distracted and distract others. Not planning your lesson well can have negative effects not just on the lesson for the day, but for your ability to control your classroom. This is one main reason why planning your lesson is important.

Let us all work toward helping each of our students develop their potentials. We are in an institution that aims to bring out the best out of every child that enters our classrooms. So, it is with a positive outlook that I invite all of you to help these students be the best of who they are. It might seem like a very small contribution, but it truly counts. Before you enter the classroom when school starts, make sure that your lesson plan is prepared. It must contain information that will result in a better execution of the activities since a good lesson plan provides a guide in delivering the lessons effectively. Furthermore, the students will have lesser reasons for misbehaving and for giving a poor academic performance. In conclusion, we therefore have to be really prepared. As a teacher, there is no better way to teach than to plan lessons more thoughtfully and productively.