Sequences and scaffolds lessons which balance depth with breadth.

What Effective Teachers Will Do

Effective teachers plan units and lessons in a logical structure to increase learning of new information and build skills. They understand learning is built step by step. Appropriate scaffolding ensures students have the prerequisite knowledge and/or skills to accomplish the learning goals for each lesson in a unit and the learning tasks within each lesson. Appropriate sequencing requires unit planning, lesson planning, and activity planning to ensure adequate scaffolding for student learning. As teachers plan units with appropriate sequencing and scaffolding, they balance depth with breadth.Breadth, or covering all that is required in the core, is necessary, but depth adds interest and richness to learning. It increases the ability of students to make connections, retain information, and engage in higher-level thinking.

What Effective Teachers Consider

Do my lessons build on one another, requiring students to use knowledge from previous lessons to accomplish new tasks? Do I scaffold instruction so students gradually take on more of the responsibility?
  • Principles of Instructional Design, 5th Edition
    (Robert M. Gagne et al., 2005)
    Chapter 12, "Designing the Individual Lesson," takes a fresh look at lesson design, and revises the objectives/time-line sequence of instructional activities to clarify the process of designing lessons for multiple objectives.
  • How the Brain Learns
    (David Sousa, 2011)
    Chapter 8, "Putting It All Together", walks through lesson planning based on the latest brain research on how students learn.
  • Picture This: Visuals and Rubrics to Teach Procedures, Save Your Voice, and Love Your Students
    (Rick Smith, 2011)
    This book provides simple, direct, and easily applicable strategies for teaching procedures.
  • What Great Teachers Do Differently
    (Todd Whitaker, 2013)
    A list of 17 things that describe the beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, and interactions of great teachers and explains what they do differently including Meaning what you say, Focusing on students first, and Putting yourself in their position.