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Sample pages from Guide to Tutoring & Learning Strategies (pages 17 & 18) <<Back

3c. Lesson Plan Guidelines
Your goal is to have a lesson plan that roughly follows the following format. A brief lesson plan should be written before each session. Please see Appendices A and B for sample lesson plans.

A five to ten minute quiz of previous work done, either school-assigned or tutor-assigned. During this quiz, look over your student’s school notebook and homework.

Notes from school should be dated and complete – never let your student get away with “the teacher didn’t give us any notes”. Every day of class, except test days, should warrant a complete set of notes! Questions taken up in class should all be documented in your student’s notebook plus all the hints he can pick up as the teacher explains a concept or a difficult question.

Your student should have a small amount of homework assigned by you [usually <15 minutes twice a week].

Approximately 1/3 of the time should be spent going over past difficulties [gaps in content]. The strategies that are currently the most important for your student should be practiced concurrently with the content! Comments on and assistance with difficulties that you find in your student’s notebook should also be covered. If a test is returned, going over the test would be done here.

Approximately 1/3 of the time should be spent on your student’s current difficulties. This portion of the tutorial is student-driven. It is really essential that your student feels he/she can get help where he feels it is important to him. Point out wherever possible that the use of a certain strategy would have made a difference. For example, if a careless error was made, have your student redo the question while backchecking, and point out how that time he could do it correctly.

The remaining 1/3 [or less] of the time may be spent on looking ahead. Only hit key concepts coming up, not the smaller details or incidental concepts. Through this approach, many students begin to feel confident in class for the first time and it is a great confidence booster.

The last thing you do is assign appropriate homework. Preferably this homework will be on past gaps or concepts learned earlier at school. Tutor-assigned homework should not be on current work at school; that work should be done in your student’s regular school homework. Usually, you will give a maximum of 15 minutes about twice a week.

Important Note for Special Lesson Plans:
The first few days of tutoring are critical. It is more important to get the student ‘on side’ then to follow all the above guidelines. Consequently, let your lesson plan be mainly student-driven if that is what S wants. See Page 17-18 in this Guide. You can explain your goal for future lesson plans to S and gradually slide into the preferred lesson plan format shown above.

Before tests, throw the above guidelines away. See Page 21 - 22 in this Guide.
For the looking ahead part of your lesson plans, see Page 20 in this Guide.

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