No Series: When a Lesson Goes Wrong

ELA.RL.9-10.2

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 2: 
    Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its
    development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is
    shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

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ELA.RL.9-10.9

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 9: 
    Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

When a Lesson Goes Wrong

Lesson Objective: Prepare to write a literary analysis paper
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Analysis
16 MIN
ELA.RL.9-10.2 | ELA.RL.9-10.9

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Wessling know that her lesson isn't working?
  2. Notice the changes Ms. Wessling makes for the second lesson. How does she modify both the content and structure of her lesson?
  3. What can you learn from Ms. Wessling about reflecting on your practice?

153 Comments

  • Private message to Joann Miller
  1. Ms Wessling quickly realizes the planned lesson plan is not working when the students start talking among themselves and asking questions about the words in the handout.  She has five minutes between passing periods to make adjustments to the lesson plan.
  2. Ms Wessling does make adjustments to the lesson plan to make it a group project using “Concept Map” which does gets the students involved and participated with the project. 
  3. There will be challenges in class and learning to be quick on your feet to adjust is a very important lesson. Talking to a colleage to reflect on what happened and to make adjustment for classes going forward is a great lesson for the teacher.  Everyone does learn from their mistakes.   
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  • Private message to Trevor Townsend

1.  Mrs. Wessling knows that her lesson is not going well when she realizes she is losing her students when they say, "These words are too big; this packet is too big" and when they begin talking, but not about her lesson.  Even her student leaders seemed confused.  At this point she knows she has in her words "completely over-shot this" lesson. 

2.  Mrs. Wessling modifies the content and structure of her lesson so the next class will be successful.  I am impressed with how she adjusts within five min and even as kids are walking into her classroom, she makes decisions to support the next class.  She modifies her classroom space by putting students in groups.  Then, she scaffolds the lesson in a way that will help students understand the abstract concepts and steps of a literary analysis using outside sources.  She allows students to point out the vocabulary that they do not understand and as a class they define and clarify understanding of this vocabulary.

3.  I can learn so much from Mrs. Wessling's lesson plan.  There have been so many times in my twenty-three years of teaching where I have had to adjust in the moment so students can be successful.  What I appreciate about Mrs. Wessling is her ability to still keep high standards to the lesson, but mostly her ability to deliver them in a better way by adjusting her lesson.  I want to be able to maintain the high standards of my own lessons when faced with having to adjust in the moment.  She did this and I respect her.  

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  • Private message to Alison Feaster

1. The students were disengaged and not following directions, but one of the students let the teacher know that the words in the sources were over her head. 

2. The teacher made it a group project where students would give there intrepretation of the each section of the analysis and it gave each student an opportunity to think and express what they were feeling.

3. As teacher you have think quick on your feet when things do work and reflecting with collegues will give you a better insight on how to execute in the next class period. 

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  • Private message to Lauren Mullens

 1. I think her first indication was when she was "down playing" how much material she had given the students but her best clue was the student who questioned the vocabulary.

 2. I think she realized she had to simplify the lesson in order for the kids to understanding so she broke the key concepts down for herself to see what exactly she needed the students to pull from the lesson and the idea of the traveling concept map I LOVED! That is something I will definitely be using in my classroom. 

 3. I think this video was a great representation of being humble while self-reflecting. I also loved that she was willing to go to a colleague to see if her lesson was where it should have been.

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  • Private message to Genna Miller
  1. How does Ms. Wessling know that her lesson isn't working?
    1. When the class of her first students starts talking and complains about how big the pack it is they are given, which has all the sources in it. The last student was saying how the words in the sources are hard to understand and they do not know what they are reading.
  2. Notice the changes Ms. Wessling makes for the second lesson. How does she modify both the content and structure of her lesson?
    1. She changes it with her next class coming in and using concept maps and then talking about vocab words in the sources that she chose. Everyone is reading the same source and writing what they think and keywords to then make another bubble to help them figure out what the word is, using context clues. She has them working in groups too, to bounce off ideas, which always helps. 
  3. What can you learn from Ms. Wessling about reflecting on your practice?
    1. not all lessons will work so you need to make sure that you are prepared for anything with your students. Whether it's they understand the lesson, they move through it faster then you think they, or it takes longer then expected.
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Materials

School Details

Johnston Senior High School
6501 Northwest 62nd Avenue
Johnston IA 50131
Population: 1548

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Sarah Brown Wessling
English Language Arts / 10 11 12 / Teacher

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