Better Lesson Plans, Better Lessons : Practical Strategies for Planning from Standards book cover
1st Edition

Better Lesson Plans, Better Lessons
Practical Strategies for Planning from Standards

ISBN 9781138838871
Published October 8, 2015 by Routledge
126 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In today’s high-stakes world, ready-made lessons and teacher’s guides are no longer enough to guarantee achievement. The best way to help students succeed is through deliberate and careful lesson planning focused on the end result of increasing student achievement. Whether you are a new teacher or an experienced educator, this book will help you get started by providing a practical, step-by-step guide to designing lessons that will lead to student mastery of any objective. You’ll learn the essential components of lessons that are Common Core-aligned and grounded in best practices. Topics include:

  • Tailoring your lessons to meet your state standards while ensuring high student achievement.
  • Writing a strong objective to stay focused on the goal of a lesson.
  • Creating an end-of-lesson assessment to gauge the lesson’s success.
  • Constructing a lesson plan that combines direct instruction, guided practice, and independent practice.

Along the way, you’ll find plenty of helpful examples from math and English Language Arts. You’ll also find end-of-chapter FAQs and activities to try, to help you make these concepts a reality for your own classroom. Many of the tools from the book are also available as free downloads from our website (

Table of Contents


About the Author



Part I: Planning with the Standards in Mind

Chapter 1: The CCSS and Lesson Planning

Chapter 2: The Role of Assessments

Part II: Before the Lesson

Chapter 3: Writing Objectives

Chapter 4: Writing Assessments

Part III: During the Lesson

Chapter 5: Direct Instruction

Chapter 6: Guided Practice

Chapter 7: Independent Practice

Part IV: After the Lesson

Chapter 8: Assessing Student Understanding



Appendix A: Lesson Plan Template

Appendix B: A Note to School Leaders

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Ben Curran coaches school leaders for The Achievement Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to leveling the playing field in education. He previously worked as a teacher and instructional coach. Ben is also co-author of Engaged, Connected, Empowered: Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2014).


"This is an excellent book for first year teachers as well as administrators who want their staff to return to a focus on effective planning. Planning is a continual process of presenting and reflecting on the lesson, and while it is easy to find examples and templates of lesson plans, it is much more difficult to find resources that walk teachers through the steps of how to get to a finished product. This book is very useful for anyone trying to revive the lesson planning process and successfully implement more rigorous standards."

--Susan Gorman, Director of Student Improvement, Osawatomie Schools, Kansas 

"This is an excellent resource for brand new teachers including for use in a mentoring program. I also strongly recommend this book to teacher education programs as I feel it ties lots of topics together."

--Kara Chism, Assistant Principal, Rocky Ridge Elementary School, Alabama