Lesson Plan Research

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Perspective Angel Solutions 5 Minute Lesson Digital Plan @TeacherToolkit


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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What does lesson planning data tell us?

This blog discusses learning episodes (sequences) designed within lesson plans, using data from real lesson plans which teachers are now creating using the new Digital 5 Minute Lesson Plan. As of 12th November 2014, 15 days after launch, there have been over 2000 plans lesson plans created using the free digital tool with visitors from over 75 countries!

This is a guest blog featured on School Improvement Net.

Angel Solutions took a sample of nearly 500 anonymised lesson plans created on www.5minutelessonplan.co.uk by teachers from all over the world. They then analysed how many learning episodes teachers chose to include in each of their plans and whether these were primarily student- or teacher-led. The idea is to see what we can glean from ‘real’ lesson plans teachers are actually using with their classes right now.

The 5 Minute Digital Lesson Plan

Overall, there have been 2000 plans created (excluding empty plans) within 15 days.

  • 9644 sessions on the site
  • 7816 unique users have visited the site
  • Visitors have come from 75 countries (see image above)

Compare this to the paper version, shared two years ago on 30th January 2012, has now been downloaded in over 140 regions around the world, and viewed over 437,000 times!

Here is a direct link to the digital planning tool if you want to give it a try now.

What The Data Says?

Overall, the number of learning episodes in each plan varied.

Digital 5 Minute Lesson Plan

However, it’s striking that nearly half of the plans (44%, to be precise), included a total of 4 learning episodes in the anonymised sample.

Digital 5 Minute Lesson Plan

There were also more student-led episodes than teacher-led.

Digital 5 Minute Lesson PlanLessons with 4 learning episodes were more likely to be led by a teacher in the first episode, and led by students in the last episode.


None of this data is designed to be conclusive. We all know that lesson plans vary and different teachers will prefer different approaches. But only two weeks after launching the digital 5 Minute Lesson Plan tool, it’s already showing interesting trends in how teachers like to plan their lessons.

Teacher plans might stay in your mind, be beautifully crafted, or just be roughly sketched out. You might use a checklist, progress map or other tool instead of the digital 5 Minute Lesson Plan. We know that Ofsted don’t expect to see lesson plans. And even within this new digital tool there is no prescribed, or even suggested, number of learning episodes.

Teacher Decisions!

So now we ask, do you think there is a ‘best’ approach to planning?

How do you like to plan your lessons? How important is it to you to have every learning episode planned out? Do you stick to your plans most of the time, or are they simply a tool to help you crystalise your ideas? How do you store, organise or re-use your plans?

This blog was written by John Winstanley from Angel Solutions and is a featured post on Schools Improvement Net.


The digital version of the 5 minute lesson plan was created by Angel Solutions Ltd (@angel_solutionshttp://www.angelsolutions.co.uk/) and Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkithttps://www.teachertoolkit.co.uk/)

Full details and attribution are here.

The Terms and Conditions of how this information is collected and shared is set out here.

6 thoughts on “Lesson Plan Research

  1. I really like the planner, both for ease of use and the quality of thinking it encourages me to pursue. On my school,laptop, I use outlook calendar and have my lessons blocked in hour by hour. I’d like to know if there’s an easy way of linking the 5 min plan to each block? Thanks.

  2. Pingback: Education Panorama (December ’14) by @TeacherToolkit | @TeacherToolkit

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