How I Lesson Plan for Group Classes

On my lesson plan, I organize each activity chronologically, with a note next to each activity of the approximate time that each activity will begin.  I usually watch the clock pretty closely as I teach and try to stay on schedule.  If an activity takes longer or shorter than I anticipated, I adjust the next activity accordingly.  I also plan an “if time” activity in case it’s needed.  It’s important to be flexible!

 This is a good how-to article by Joy Morin published online in January of 2012.

I’ve had a few requests lately from readers regarding more info about what kind of activities I do with my Homeschool Music Classes and Piano Readiness classes, so I thought it might first be a good idea to first give you a peek into how I lesson plan for group classes.  Although I don’t lesson plan for teaching private lessons, I do always make a plan for group classes.

At each class, we begin and end with a “Hello Song” and “Goodbye Song.”  Students like having this routine, and they are very good at reminding me about the songs if I forget about them!  I have the students tap the beat on their knees (as we sit cross-legged on our carpet squares) while we sing.  That way, I can tell if they are engaged even if they aren’t singing all the lyrics for one reason or another.

When I lesson plan the evening before the next day’s class, I try to include the following things: 

  • Some kind of worksheet or written activity that they can take home and show their parents or hang on the fridge.
  • At least one kind of movement activity.   I believe that the best way to develop a good sense of rhythm in students is through movement-related activities.  Including movement activities in classes is strategic also because young children can’t sit still for very long.  I find it’s best to do a movement activity right before the worksheet time so they can get their wiggles out!
  • At least one activity using the piano.  I use silent keyboards and other props/games to learn various pre-piano concepts away from the piano, but I also make it a priority to let them use the actual piano because 1) that’s the whole point: nurturing a desire to make beautiful sounds at the piano; and 2) they love it so much!

On my lesson plan, I organize each activity chronologically, with a note next to each activity of the approximate time that each activity will begin.  I usually watch the clock pretty closely as I teach and try to stay on schedule.  If an activity takes longer or shorter than I anticipated, I adjust the next activity accordingly.  I also plan an “if time” activity in case it’s needed.  It’s important to be flexible!

At the end of the lesson plan, I compile a list of needed materials, so that I can easily gather them the next day before class and put everything in a basket.

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