Lesson Planning the Break through Way 101

Unlike many, I came to college knowing exactly what I wanted to do. Because I knew the direction I wanted to take my education, the process of selecting classes, declaring, and even finding internships was easy for me. Because I knew I wanted to be a teacher, I was able to find Breakthrough last summer.

Breakthrough was a great program for me because it was an opportunity for me to get real classroom experience. One of those experiences being how to lesson plan. So on today’s blog we are going to lesson plan the Breakthrough way!

Breakthrough teaches all the Teaching Fellows to lesson plan during orientation using these sheets:

BTNY Lesson Plan Template


Every class should begin with Do Now. A Do Now is a quick problem or questions to help the students jump into the lesson at the beginning of class. The Do Now should provide the students with some ideas on what they are going to learn that day. Do Now’s can also be used to review previous content that would help them during that day or even content where students had many misconceptions and you would like to clarify. The Do Now is a great way to get instant feedback on where students are in terms of mastering the content.

After the Do Now you go over the objective, what the students will be learning that day, and the proving behavior, how they are going to learn the specific content. In my classroom I always pick a random student to read the objective and proving behavior, just so I’m not the only person talking throughout the whole class. It is important for students to take ownership of their learning through involvement and reliability in the lesson.

Now that the morning routine is complete, create a lesson by task analysis approach. Task analysis is when you breakdown a concept or problem into clear easy to understand steps. For example if you are trying to understand how to read a nutrition label, you would break those concepts into ways that it would be easier for the student to understand. So you would first want students to understand what nutrition labels are, then serving size, next calories,next percent value,and nutrient value. In this example you can see how with each step we are building understanding and using the previous step to better understand the next. Task analysis is one of the major parts.

Then for each step in the Task Analysis you would create a say, see, do cycle. A say,see,do cycle is the process used to teach a step of the task analysis.The say would be what you are going to say to the students to teach the concept, the information you are going to share with them. The see is the visuals you are using to represent what is being taught. The see can be pictures, diagrams, and videos. And lastly, the do, which is the most important part because this is the part that the students do. the do should include active participation models in order to keep students engaged. Do’s should be consistent, so at least every 3-5 mins, rigorous, demand 100% participation from students, and most importantly provide instant feedback to the teacher on whether students understand the step that had just be taught. you would need to do a say see do cycle for each step in the task analysis.

After you are done teaching the concept you would get into the structured practice where students are given work to do either alone, in groups, or as a class. The point of the structured practice is that the student are attempting to do what they have been just taught, but with guidance from a teacher.So students can ask the teacher for help,to clarify information, and to review things as a class.

When the time for structured practice is over, students are asked to put all there notes aways because it is time for the Exit Ticket also known as Guided Practice. This should be completed silently and individually. The exit ticket should cover the concept learned that day and should be graded out of 4.

The last step in lesson is a closure. A closure is used to end class. A closure can be used to get feedback on the lesson by doing thumb check ins, it can be a method called pepper, which is rapidly going around the class for one word answers, or it can be quick coral response.

I will interset  an example of all the materials I use to teach a lesson.

Bronx_Science_7_Day_18_ Group_Work





Now that’s how you lesson plan the Breakthrough way!!

Week Two at Breakthrough

Week two of teaching at Breakthrough is one of the most funnest out of the entire summer! This is the perfect week to get to know your students styles and personalities because it’s Spirit Week!!This was also a great week for the students to get to know the kid of person I am.

Here is the Spirit Week Line up:

Monday- PJ day
Tuesday- Grade Pride
Wednesday- Wacky Wednesday
Thursday- Throwback Thursday
Friday- Spirit Olympics

PJ Day:

On Monday for Pj I wore my long flower pattern PJ. If you know me you would know that I sometimes where those pjs around Dickinson campus at night when I go to the D-Den or the Quarry. They comfy and cute! I was glad to be able to go to work dress comfortably!

Grade Pride:

For grade pride the seventh grade team decided to dress up as royalty! Although I was not dressed as comfortably as for Pj day, Grade pride day was my favorite! That day I decided to bring my crown from my Quinceañera. I also wore a long gown, which was supposed to be my sister’s prom dress. That day I looked so EXTRA but I loved it! I had a lot of fun and my students seemed to love it too.

Wacky Wednesday:

For Wacky Wednesday I didn’t really do anything special. To be honest that day I was running late to work and jut grab some random clothes to combine with the clothes I was already wearing. I wore different sandals and then layered up a dress and a t-shirt.

Throwback Thursday:

Throwback Thursday was a very chill day because I and a lot of people at my site had the same idea, the 90s! A lot of us already owned mom jeans. So all we needed were cool t-shirts and shoes. In 2018, mom jeans are still the way to go.

Spirit Olympics:

If I am being completely honest in this blog, which I am, I must admit that Spirit Olympics is my least favorite day of the week. Despite what I think, the students love it. And at the end of the day if they are happy I’m happy. The day of spirit olympics all the Breakthrough New York sites come together at the Armory in Washington Heights. At the armory the students play a serious of different games. I am NOT a fun killer or game HATER so that aspect of Spirit Olympics is fun. However, the worst part of the trip and the students would agree is the commute. Everyone arrives at the Bronx site then we all walk about 15-20 mins to the train and then we take one train and then transfer to another. When the event is over we do it all again. Traveling with a large group of students is very serious and a lot of hardworking because you are responsible for the lives of all the students.

Overall Spirit Week was fun and I am glad I was able to participate again this year.

Week One of Teaching

The first week of teaching is always bittersweet. Sweet because I got to meet my students and by the end of the week build a more personal connection through “Diversity Day.” Diversity Day is a day where students and teaching fellows come together to build awareness about the diversity within our Breakthrough site. We discuss social economic status, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. through as series of activities. On Friday we did a step in activity, a privilege walk, and then broke into smaller groups.This event allowed us understand our students better and build a connection. D-day allowed the students to view us as more than teachers.

The bitter part of week one being bittersweet is that we had to make adjustments to so lessons because students reacted differently to certain lessons than I initially anticipated. Also during the first week, there was lesson where we didn’t didn’t finish on time. That made me feel like a bad teacher because I felt like I wasn’t working the clock or made the material easy to understand. At that point it would’ve been helpful to have an Instructional Coach to help us in that moment.

Although there were some obstacles and frustrations during the first week, those obstacles allowed me to work on my problem solving skills and flexibility in the work place. I am very excited for week two especially since is Spirit Week!