A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. - Henry Adams
Jerry Smith's Digital Teaching Portfolio

Standard I: Designs/Plans Instruction & Learning Climates


The planning and designing of lessons and learning climates has probably taken more time than any other area of teaching: It was certainly the hardest to get the hang of. Designing lessons with a good hook takes about three times as long as actually delivering the lesson! Most of the time, the well-planned lessons go more smoothly than those that have not been scrutinized as much.

I had no trouble populating this standard with materials simply because I have done more planning than anything else this year. You will find many of what I consider my best lesson plans in KTIP format. You may notice that some lessons include a few components that others do not. This is because there have been a lot of people who have influenced the way I put a lesson together. If you look at my lessons a year from now, chances are they will be a little different than the ones presented here, but that's just part of evolving as an educator. All the lessons, however, contain all required KTIP sections.

The Evidence

Note: The green box around two or more items indicate that the items are meant to be used together.

Unit Plan

  • Unit Plan for Advanced Excel Features in Computer Applications - This unit plan begins with stated objectives as to what the students should know by the completion of the unit. Following this is a list of student activities and behaviors that indicates the student has achieved a particular objective. A crosswalk is provided between all the unit objectives and other recognized curriculum standards.

Accounting Lesson Plans & Supporting Materials

Basic Business Subjects Lesson Plans & Supporting Materials

Computer Applications Lesson Plans & Supporting Materials

  • Introduction to PowerPoint (Word Format) - This lesson outlines the basic bells and whistles that makes PowerPoint so much fun to use. This lesson has proven very effective if used after Microsoft Word has been introduced.

Keyboarding Lesson Plans & Supporting Materials

Marketing Lesson Plan & Supporting Materials


Learning how to do lesson plans was a very painful process for me. When I first started, I continuously beat myself up day in and day out because many of my lessons didnít go so well, even though I spent a great deal of time creating them.† What really helped me to stop panicking over my lesson plans was the fact that my students were learning, even though everything wasnít always super-smooth.† The trick is to remember what went wrong (by looking at reflections) and then changing the plan next time to try to compensate for the previous shortcomings.

The All Important Lesson Planning Question

As time has went along, I have learned the right questions to ask myself while I am creating a plan. My starting point is: When that bell rings, what do I want the students to be able to do that they couldnít do before they came in here today?† Since most of my lessons are very task-oriented, the "do" part of that question is what is most important. Everything else associated with planning (standards, essential questions, and activities) just falls into place when subordinated under this one question. Obviously, the standards provide me an idea of what all the "doís" should be by the end of the year, but if youíre not careful, itís very easy to get hung up in trying to hit too many standards with each lesson. It overcomplicates things and nothing seems to go right.

A Starting Point

The lesson plan is a starting point. In the daily grind of teaching, there are interruptions and circumstances that could not be anticipated a week ahead of time when you are preparing lessons. Therefore, you must keep in mind that a lesson plan is not the omega but rather the alpha. If something in a plan needs remedial attention, itís best to do that instead of forcing ahead with new material.† You must be careful to keep moving forward without going too fast.

Knowledge for All: IEP Modifications

I have had very little help from the high school in finding out about the needs of my IEP students. (It was late October before I received the IEPs for first semester, and I still havenít seen them for the second semester.) ††Most of my IEP students perform well in my classes because of the task-oriented curriculum.† I havenít had any students with anything more than a mild mental disability, so my lesson modifications have never exceeded more than providing assistance with reading and extra time.† I have been very impressed with the great effort that my IEP students will give me if I am willing to help!