Now, what hit me was that I had missed the target on stating a learning objective last week. The "3" and the "1" above are pretty vital, and I should have been explicit in stating those points. I did COVER them, but that's not the same as saying at the start of a lesson "today you are going to learn x,y and z and why x, y and z are important." I did have learning targets for that lesson, but they were fuzzy. I knew they were fuzzy and I knew today's lesson was fuzzy. It wasn't until I was writing down my 3-2-1 that I really understood what the point of the lesson was. And if I wasn't sure, I know darn well my students weren't sure.
Teaching English...teaching writing... is a fuzzy task. It's complicated, it's messy and it's very difficult to pin down something concrete: THIS is what I want you to learn. THIS is why and THIS is how. (I think that's why some teachers like grammar and vocabulary so much; it's concrete, discrete, and testable!) As I was writing my 3-2-1 prompt, it became clear to me that when I'm writing lesson objectives it is not enough to know the small objective for that lesson, but to understand how that objective will tie into the lesson three days down the road. That seems obvious, I guess, but as I said, I'm still learning.
What I learned: 1. It really is vital to start your lesson plan by writing your ASSESSMENT. It forces you to clarify, to make CONCRETE, the learning targets. 2. I have got to, got to, GOT TO get back to where I was at the start of the year - planning a week or more at a time. Doing lesson plans the night before does NOT cut it.