Teacher Interview Question: Describe how you plan your lessons

Excerpt from Road to Teaching: A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching and Finding a Job:

In asking this question, hiring principals are trying to find out how you approach certain elements during your lesson planning, including learning objectives, standards, assessments, activities, special accommodations, and reflection. Effective lesson planning begins with establishing desired learning outcomes or goals for the students. These learning outcomes should be based on “higher order thinking.” Familiarize yourself Dr. Bloom’s work on the categories of student thinking, from the lower order thinking skills (knowledge, comprehension, and application) to the higher order thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation). Thoroughly review the Bloom’s example below. The example includes verb outcomes, coupled with categories of thinking (Krumme, 2005). This information will assist you in your lesson planning and in answering this interview question.

Bloom’s Lower Order Thinking

1. Knowledge is remembering appropriate, previously learned information. This level of thinking is illustrated by students defining, describing, enumerating, identifying, labeling, listing, matching, naming, reading, recording, reproducing, selecting, stating, and/or viewing.

2. Comprehension is the understanding of the meaning of informational materials. This level of thinking is illustrated by students classifying, citing, converting, describing, discussing, estimating, explaining, generalizing, giving examples, making sense out of, paraphrasing, summarizing, tracing, and/or understanding.

3. Application is the use of previously learned information in new and concrete situations to solve problems that have single or best answers. This level of thinking is illustrated by students acting, administering, articulating, assessing, charting, collecting, computing, constructing, contributing, controlling, determining, developing, discovering, establishing, extending, implementing, including, informing, instructing, participating, predicting, preparing, preserving, producing, projecting, providing, relating, reporting, showing, solving, teaching, transferring, using, and/or utilizing.

Bloom’s Higher Order Thinking

4. Analysis is the breaking down of information into its component parts, examining the information to develop conclusions, making inferences, and/or finding evidence to support generalizations. This level of thinking is illustrated by students correlating, diagramming, differentiating, discriminating, distinguishing, focusing, illustrating, inferring, limiting, outlining, pointing out, prioritizing, recognizing, separating, and/or subdividing.

5. Synthesis is creating a new product using prior knowledge and skills. This level of thinking is illustrated by students adapting, anticipating, categorizing, collaborating, combining, communicating, comparing, compiling, composing, contrasting, creating, designing, devising, expressing, facilitating, formulating, generating, incorporating, individualizing, initiating, integrating, intervening, modeling, modifying, negotiating, planning, progressing, rearranging, reconstructing, reinforcing, reorganizing, revising, structuring, substituting, and/or validating.

6. Evaluation is determining value and providing a rationale for the response. This level of thinking is illustrated by students appraising, comparing and contrasting, concluding, criticizing, critiquing, deciding, defending, interpreting, judging, justifying, reframing, and/or supporting.

Next in your lesson planning process, describe how these learning outcomes connect to the curriculum benchmarks, and district and state standards. After that, stress the importance of assessment in determining if the students have met the stated learning outcomes. Use the outcome-illustrating verbs (above), from Bloom’s Taxonomy, to evaluate the students’ learning. Your response should also show how effective teachers use a wide variety of assessment techniques, and use those assessments to give valuable feedback to their students and to encourage their improvement. Assessment is much more than paper tests and final “no more chances” tests.

Once you have shown how you establish learning objectives and assessments, hiring principals will want to know how you will structure lesson activities to meet the students’ learning needs. Briefly, provide a few examples of best-practice instruction you would use, e.g. learning stations, or jigsaw approach. Explain how you would incorporate accommodations for ELL and special education students. Lastly, describe how you will reflect on the effectiveness of the lesson and what steps you will take to improve it.

A Guide to Teacher Training, Student Teaching, and Finding a Job

The Perfect Companion for Student Teachers.

Book Description

Maximize your teacher training, excel at student teaching, and find your ideal teaching job. This book addresses these unique stages of becoming an educator by providing 50 valuable strategies and insightful advice, allowing for a smooth transition from student teacher to exemplary teacher.

Learn how to differentiate yourself through your coursework, create a positive relationship with your cooperating (master) teacher, establish effective classroom management, perform well in your interview, and much more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource, July 5, 2008
By (Seattle, WA USA) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

This book came in handy as a student teacher and when applying for teaching jobs. I appreciated the strategies on how to jump-start my student teaching on a positive note by creating relationships with my students and CT. Even though I have now completed my student teaching, I will continue to use many of the book’s classroom management and discipline tips in my own classroom, such as the question & answer box and bellnote activity. I recommend this to any student teacher.”

5.0 out of 5 stars So Simple Sooo Helpful WOW, September 29, 2008
By (Albuquerque) – See all my reviews

This book is a must have!! I always read reviews and consider what the reader says, well please believe me, When I say get the book. It is so simple to ready I couldn’t believe the insight it gives and tips for Students, Pre-service teachers and Student teaching. I highlighted and tagged pages. I am very pleased!! Eric did an awesome job on creating a book for the “unknowns” A lot of websites and examples, book references. Again a very great book for Teachers to be, get it early.

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