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Digging Deeper: Component 1 - Planning and Preparation
Last month we dug into Component 1 - Planning and Preparation. We explored each of the Criteria in Component 1, and how the five Criteria work together to support teachers by articulating the elements of high quality lesson plans that support instruction. The Critical Attributes document for Component 1 outlines each of the Criterion in Component 1 in detail, including the elements and critical attributes that define effectiveness in each of these Criterion. This resource is an excellent tool for not only assessing Component 1 as a part of a DPAS-II evaluation, but also as a planning tool for teachers as they work to create and/or improve lesson plans.

Lesson plan format templates can be very helpful for teachers in creating lesson plans that meet all five of the Criteria of Component 1. There is no required lesson plan format for teachers in Delaware. However, a good format should support teachers to ensure that they consider all of the elements of lesson planning and preparation outlined in Component 1:

  • 1a. Selecting Instructional Goals: The format should include a space for the teacher to specify the instructional goal for the lesson.
  • 1b. Designing Coherent Instruction: This is the Criterion for which lesson plan templates can be most helpful for teachers. A good template can guide teachers to ensure that the elements of the instructional design support the stated goal for the lesson.
  • 1c. Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy: A lesson plan template doesn't necessarily have to prompt the teacher to outline his or her understanding of the content and prerequisite relationships. It should, though, prompt teachers to consider what students already need to know to master the content of the lesson.
  • 1d. Demonstrating Knowledge of Students: A lesson plan template can include a space for the teacher to articulate any strategies for differentiating instruction based on individual or group student needs.
  • 1e. Designing Student Assessments: Just as lesson plan templates should include a space to articulate the lesson objective, they should also include a space to outline the assessment the teacher will use for the lesson.

Collecting lesson plans from teachers is not a requirement in the DPAS-II system. However, administrators often find that reviewing a lesson plan can help identify a source of breakdown in a teacher’s instruction. For example, if a student discussion doesn’t proceed smoothly or successfully, examining the lesson plan to understand the level of detail with which the teacher planned the questions for the discussion can help to illuminate a potential source of trouble: poorly designed questions ,or no pre-planned questions at all. You can read below for recommendations on how to use lesson plan review to support teacher self-reflection and improvement.
Share This With Your Teachers!
While there is not a required lesson plan format for the DPAS-II system, many teachers, schools, and districts in the state use one of a few popular lesson planning resources. Below we outline a few of those formats and link to resources where you can learn more.


Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, is a research-based set of principles to guide the design of learning environments that are accessible and effective for all students. UDL was researched and designed by CAST, a nonprofit education research and development organization. There are three types of guidelines in the UDL Principles:

  • Provide multiple means of engagement
  • Provide multiple means of representation
  • Provide multiple means of action and expression

Each set of guidelines offers suggestions for implementing the UDL framework in designing lessons. The UDL Project includes tools and resources for implementing UDL for all grades and subject areas, including a lesson plan template and sample lessons using the template.


The Learning Focused Schools (LFS) framework is a common tool used for unit and lesson planning in Delaware schools. The essential components of an LFS lesson plan are:

  • Begin with standards and Essential Questions. The Essential Question is the question students should be able to answer at the end of the lesson.
  • Deconstruct the standards with Know-Understand-Do charts to clarify what students will need to know
  • Develop meaningful assessments to provide evidence of student learning
  • Develop the student learning map, which is the plan for the unit of instruction, and post the map for students
  • Develop lessons based on the student learning map

This document provides a presentation outline of the LFS planning process. This video outlines the components of the Learning-Focused model. This document is a sample LFS lesson plan.

DDOE Unit and Lesson Plans

The Delaware Department of Education offers sample lesson and unit plans for a number of subjects, listed below:

What lesson plan template do you find most teachers use successful? Let us know!
In case you missed it... Component 1 Teacher Training Materials
From October 2018 : Lesson planning and preparation is a critical “off stage” component of great teaching as defined by the DPAS-II framework. When examined together, the Criteria in Component 1 can serve as a roadmap for the creation of a strong lesson plan. The meeting-in-a-box materials below review each of the Criteria in Component 1, and walk teachers through an examination of the elements of each Criteria in an effort to support instructional planning. These materials were first shared in the October 2018 edition of the ACCESS newsletter.


From January 2018: Below are detailed training materials to conduct a 60 minute PD with your teachers on Writing Lesson Outcomes and the Delaware Framework for Teachers.

Practice Perfect: Supporting Teacher Reflection
Over the past several issues of the ACCESS newsletter, we’ve been diving into the teacher observation and development cycle. We reviewed how to collect evidence, assign ratings, and prepare feedback. A final yet critical step in this cycle is to support teacher self-reflection.

After you’ve observed teaching and collected evidence, you'v aligned that evidence to the DPAS-II framework. By assigning ratings based on that evidence, you were able to identify areas of strength that the teacher demonstrated in his/her teaching, and areas for growth. Once you’ve prepared feedback, it’s time to share it with the teacher. However, just sharing feedback is not necessarily going to drive teacher improvement. It is equally critical to support the teacher to hear the feedback, reflect on it, and plan action based on that feedback.

One useful strategy to support teacher reflection is to examine the teacher’s lesson plan. As described above, a strong lesson plan can serve as the basis of a strong lesson. However, if there is a breakdown in the lesson, it can be helpful to examine the lesson plan. This year, the DPAS-II Guidebook includes a Lesson Reflection Sheet for teachers. This optional form provides prompts to support the teacher in reflecting on his or her lesson, and identifying strengths and areas to improve. Encouraging teachers to use this form to reflect prior to a conference can help support a quality discussion about the lesson plan and, in turn, the lesson execution.
What's on the agenda?
What should be on your DPAS-II to-do list this month:

  • Complete and discuss Professional Responsibility Forms with each educator (this may be completed and/or updated at any point over the course of the year)
  • Continue to work on the second round of observations for all novice teachers. Work towards completing observations for all experienced educators by the end of January.
  • Find relevant resources and information you need at the Educator Evaluation homepage on the DDOE website
Ensure a common understanding of what practice looks like at different performance levels
Offered monthly beginning in October, 2018
PDMS Course #26995
Professional Development Series
Component 3 PDMS Course #26993
DPAS-II for Administrators
Mandatory for new administrators required to evaluate assistant principals, principals and/or district administrators
December 7, 2018
PDMS Course #27146