How are Tech Will Save Us Lesson Plans created?

We put a lot of care and thought into every single lesson plan and STEAM education pack we create, working closely with teachers to ensure they provide great learning outcomes for students, align with the official curriculum, and help lessen teachers’ workloads.

how are tech will save us lesson plans created interview with sophie pendrell

To give you some more information about our lesson plans, we sat down with our resident teacher, Sophie Pendrell, to find out about the process she goes through when creating the plans.

Q: Hey Sophie, nice to catch up with you!  Please can you share a little bit more about yourself & your teaching background?

 

Sophie: I was a tutor on a degree course teaching interactive media for years and then r trained as a primary school teacher. I’ve taught at all ages from 5 up. I also currently homeschool my own teenagers!

Q: What was your favourite part about being a teacher for so many years?

 

Sophie: It’s definitely the moment when you see the penny drop! It’s when you do practical things with children and you see them getting excited by creating things. 

For example, once I was teaching a religious education lesson about Passover for year 2’s. We all baked bread in the class in 18 minutes from start to finish with a stopwatch running and then ate it together.  This turned the class into an exciting activity where the kids learnt by doing. I will always remember it!

Q: When you plan a Tech Will Save Us lesson plan what is the number one thing you take into account?

 

Sophie: The curriculum, every time! I always try to plan classes that have a logical learning progression and that meet the UK curriculum. I  strive to make sure no individual lesson tries to achieve too much. In my opinion, good lesson planning means planning a lesson, evaluating it and then tweaking your next one so they complement each other.

If I’m working on 6-12-week lesson plans, I’m mindful that different groups of students might progress at different speeds. I always build wiggle room into the plans so they can be easily adapted. For example, I add discussion questions that encourage children to talk about their different perspectives around a topic and that can lengthen the lesson if needed.

I’m aware of the pressure teachers are under to regularly document everything and I try and help with this by including worksheets that help them evidence students’ learning.

STEM Education KIts For Schools And Workshops

Q: Aside from including the curriculum and making them easy for teachers to use, what else do you consider when writing the lesson plans?

 

Sophie: Our lesson plans are often used by home educators and leaders of after school clubs so the plans need to accommodate different teaching environments.

For example, if you teach the lessons in after-school clubs, groups are smaller than a class setting and the children tend to be very engaged, so you can move through the lessons at a greater pace and you perhaps skip the worksheets. 

The lessons are great for homeschooling because they are planned as mini “projects” which you can easily work through in a home environment as well. Specifically, with the Arcade Coder, we have tried to include a fair bit of background knowledge in the lesson plans too. We do not expect parents or tutors to be experts in game design, so we offer resources to help. They will start to understand the correct terminology and concepts if they support children on this learning journey.

Q: Would you agree that these lessons have a project-based learning approach? 

 

Sophie: Yes, they do. In each lesson, students start on a journey where they learn a set of key principles which they can then build on over several weeks. The Creative Coder lesson plan has a full section that encourages kids to write a play, create puppets and rehearse the play.  This incorporates a wide range of curriculum areas into a single project. I always try to encourage creativity with multiple possible outcomes into the lesson plans. 

I’m a huge fan of project-based learning where there is a purpose to what you are doing. Kids engage more when they have a bigger picture!

Q:  Do you have a favourite memory of teaching a Tech Will Save Us lesson plan?

 

Sophie: Yes! That’s got to be one of the workshops that we ran at a Pupil Referral Unit. After the workshop, the headteacher mentioned that one of the students had enthusiastically thanked her for allowing them to participate. They said this was the first time that this particular student had given positive feedback about any experience at school. This shows how making & creating can connect with students and change their perspective of learning, even if only for a little while!

Thank you, Sophie!

We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or thoughts on this article. You can reach us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook using @techwillsaveus!

In the meantime, why not have a look at the awesome Lesson Plans Sophie created below: