Bill Rapaport's Generic Recitation-Section Lesson Plan

(with an addition by Bina Ramamurthy)

Last Update: 27 August 2007

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted

Here, for what it's worth, is a sample recitation-section "lesson plan" that should be (a) obvious, when you think about it, and (b) generally useful. Feel free to use, modify, or ignore, as you see fit.

  1. Collect homework (if any) (unless collected in lecture, of course!).

  2. Ask if the students have any questions on the homework. (You might want to switch the order of 1 and 2.)

  3. Hand back and go over any previous homework.

  4. Review difficult topics; ask if the students have any questions on the material covered in lecture. (Note that this is much easier to do if you go to the lectures yourself!)

  5. If there is still time left:

    1. give hints on programming projects (if appropriate)

    2. do other exercises from text that were not assigned as homeworks

    3. other possibilities:

      1. do other exercises from instructor's manual

      2. give a quiz (but it really shouldn't be longer than 5 minutes, so that it can be gone over immediately in class); such quizzes can either be announced in advance or be surprises.

  6. General rule of thumb: Overprepare; i.e., always have something up your sleeve to do in class, so that you're not caught thinking out loud to yourself, "Gee, I wonder what we should do now?" (to which the students will almost inevitably respond, "Dismiss us").

Here is a generic list of TA duties, supplied by Bina Ramamurthy:

  1. Lab monitoring

  2. Grading projects

  3. Grading exams

  4. Entering grades

  5. Posting grades in the lab after every update

  6. Making copies of project handouts and exams

  7. Collecting projects on due dates

  8. Distributing the projects among the TAs

  9. Take the graded projects back to the lab

  10. Help in returning exam papers in the class

  11. UPDATED Do all homeworks and projects yourself, so that you will be prepared to answer any questions from the students.
    (Thanks to Ken Smith for this modification!)

  12. Help in proctoring the exams.

  13. It is strongly recommended that you attend lectures to see what's going on in class.

  14. Of course, teaching the recitations.

Copyright © 2007 by William J. Rapaport (