Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Lesson Planning Process

In the hustle-bustle of your daily routine, you may never take time to appreciate the careful thought and effort that goes into planning a simple activity so the children in your program experience success. You make it look easy. Yet, all providers and educators realize it is anything but easy to provide purposeful activities throughout the day, day after day.

Take a moment to think about all that goes into your lesson planning process. You know so much about the children in your program. How do you use that knowledge in planning activities? How do you make sure that each and every child’s individual needs are met? How do you translate your curriculum into daily lessons and activities?

 topview of a table with stationery, manipulatives, and art tools
Planning for Success

This section guides you to think about and explain the process you follow to plan activities and learning experiences for children. You will submit a statement that describes your planning process as documentation for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Planning: DAP 5.5 (DAP 4.5 – School-Age Only).

Select the Requirements tab to learn about key requirements to include in your description of your lesson planning process.

Requirements

Let's look at the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Planning: DAP 5.5 (DAP 4.5 – School-Age Only). The following interactive shows key requirements that are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot to learn more about specific information to include in your statement.

Select the option that applies to your program type:

 

Child Care Center

Family Child Care

School-Age Only
DAP 4.5: Planning Lesson plans include age-appropriate activities reflective of children’s interests and skills; and include: multiple literacy, language, science, art, health and wellness, physical fitness, and numeracy, anti-bias and culturally competent activities on a daily basis; address the developmental needs of each and every child; and include information from an IEP, if provided. Documentation to submit: Lesson Planning Process Statement

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Planning: DAP 5.5 (DAP 4.5 – School-Age Only), your statement should clearly describe the lesson planning process you follow to make sure that your activities:

  • Are culturally competent and age-appropriate
  • Are based on essential learning domains
    • Birth – Age 3: Personal and Social Development; Language Development; Cognitive Development; Physical Development
    • Age 3 – 5: Social Foundations, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Well-being and Motor Development and Fine Arts
    • School-Age: Literacy, Language, Science, Art, Health and Wellness, Physical Fitness, and Numeracy
  • Reflect the children’s interests and skills
  • Address the developmental needs of each and every child
  • Are informed by ongoing assessments, observations, and information from families
  • Include information from a child’s IFSP or IEP, if provided by the family

The Policy or Statement Builder provides a step-by-step guide for creating your statement.






Lesson Planning Process

Creating environments where all children are respected and thrive requires careful planning and organization, especially since no two children are exactly alike. Your lesson plans and the process you follow to create them demonstrate the time, attention, and care you devote to creating purposeful activities and learning experiences.Your careful planning results in activities across multiple domains that represent and respect the diversity among the children in your program.

 

What does the documentation look like?

Your statement clearly describes a lesson planning process that includes activities that:

  • Are culturally competent
  • Match the children’s ages and individual developmental levels, skills, and needs
  • Cross multiple developmental and learning domains
  • Reflect the children’s interests background experiences, cultures, and home languages
  • Are informed by ongoing assessments, observations, and information from families
  • Include a child’s IFSP or IEP, if provided
 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

Review your statement and underline specific sentences that explain how your program’s lesson planning process and activities: 1) show cultural competence, 2) are age-appropriate, 3) address children’s developmental levels, skills, and needs, 4) reflect the children’s interests, backgrounds, cultures, and home languages, 5) learning domains, 6) ongoing assessment, observations, and information from families, and 7) a child’s IFSP or IEP, if provided.

 

Where can you learn more?

This article provides helpful tips on creating meaningful activities and lessons for young children.

Ages and Stages in Child Care

This article from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) challenges us to increase our cultural competence.

Empathy and Cultural Competence: Reflections from Teachers of Culturally Diverse Children

This resource provides detailed information and specific strategies for engaging school-age children in anti-bias learning experiences.

Critical Practices for Anti-bias Education

Other resources on Anti-bias and Culturally Competent Practices:






Activities Informed by a Child’s IFSP / IEP

Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) provide guidance on ways to meet the needs of individual children with special health care needs or disabilities. Remember you are a critical member of the team who helps put these plans into action. Your lesson planning process is documentation of the steps you take to support individual children and to include a child’s learning goals in your daily activities.

 

What does the documentation look like?

Your lesson plans and process clearly show ways information from a child’s IFSP or IEP are part of typical routines and activities. Some examples include:

  • Use of specialized equipment (examples: chubby crayons, pencil grips, magnifying lenses, hearing devices)
  • Opportunities for a child to practice targeted skills (examples: speech sounds, fine motor skills, independent/self-help skills)
  • Opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction (examples: reading a large print book together, free choice activities, outdoor play)
  • Adjustments to your plans to accommodate a child’s special health care needs
 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

Your statement includes a description of your careful and thoughtful planning to ensure that a child with special needs is able to access and participate in all activities with support, as needed.

 

Where can you learn more?

Even if none of the children currently enrolled in your program receive services through an IFSP or IEP, you may find these resources interesting and helpful as you strive to meet the individual needs of all the children.

What is Inclusive Child Care?
The IFSP: A Family Guide to Understanding the Individualized Family Service Plan
What is the Difference Between an IFSP and an IEP?





Policy or Statement Builder

This interactive helps you develop a statement that describes your lesson planning process. You have the option of emailing your responses to yourself and editing your final statement before uploading it to the Maryland EXCELS System. You are encouraged to type your responses in full sentences to make it easier to edit your final statement.

 

Build-A-Statement: Lesson Planning Process

Final Touches

Review your statement as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Check to be sure your documentation includes:

A clear description of your lesson planning process that shows activities that are:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Save your document:

  • Use a file name that you can find easily when you upload it to the system (example: lesson-planning.docx)
  • Use any one of these formats:
    • Typed electronic version of your statement (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
    • Scanned versions of your statement (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)
    • Digital image / picture of your statement (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your documentation, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate where you saved your statement on the computer
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

Congratulations! You are ready to submit documentation to meet the requirements for Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practice: Planning: DAP 5.5 (DAP 4.5 School-Age Only). When the requirements are met, celebrate your program’s commitment to quality as shown in your careful lesson planning.

Plan for Improvement

As you strive for ongoing program improvement, think of ways you can increase your cultural competence or use ongoing assessment methods to inform your lesson planning. Remember to review and update statements in the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (DAP 5.5; DAP 4.5 – School-Age Only)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your statement that describes your lesson planning process. If none of the children currently enrolled in your program have an IFSP or IEP, or families have chosen not to share these documents with you, please leave a comment with an explanation for your Program Coordinator.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation