I wanted to make a witty title for my blog post like everybody else, something like Smooth Operator or whatever but you know what it is very late right now and I’m not feeling all that witty.
1.) Describe effective management strategies you observed for opening a lesson, applied during a lesson, and for lesson closure.
Unfortunately, I can not honestly say I got to see effective opening or closing strategies during my observation period. The instructor in the class was very disorganized and spent way too long covering her administrivia at the start of class without giving the students anything to do. This led to a lot of wasted time at the start of class – this teacher could really benefit from putting a sponge activity or opening quiz at the start of class. She did at least put all the students in a good mood when they walked in and addressed all of them by name. The end of class was not much smoother. She taught up until the bell, without leaving any time to close the class out. I think that if she had taken better advantage of her opening time then this would not have happened. As it was though, she ended up reminding them about homework etc. as they were walking out the door (and as far as a student is concerned class is over and they probably did not hear a thing she said!). The middle of the lesson was handled very well. One thing that she has done very well is created a very well behaved classroom. Studetns are always waiting to be called on, there are few interruptions, nothing offensive. She is respectful towards her students and they, in response they behave well in her class. She establishes this through constant classroom moderation, calling students by name, giving every student a chance to speak and most importantly keeping her rules consistent for everybody: no student is allowed to talk out of turn etc.
2.) Name 3 common transitions you observed and how did the teacher handle those.
1. Students coming in late. Quite a few students came in late (at least 5). The instructor was very intent on not letting these students disrupt the class. They knew to come in quietly, as they came in she would motion to her desk to let them know that she had a handout for them. 2. The shift from lecture to work time. The teacher had the students do a brief writing exercise during class. It was handled well I suppose, she just said “alright take ten minutes to reflect on x”. I was surprised, the students immediately went silent and got straight to work and worked very dilligently until she asked them to stop. It broke the flow of class up though, which could be good (less boring) or bad (breaks momentum) depending on the situation. Because of the awkward empty space at the start of class though, I think it would have fit better at the start or end of class. 3. The shift back from work time to lecture. I want to talk about this one because it was a little more awkward. She was not very authoritative when asking the students to stop writing – she kept giving them more time. I know you want your students to write the best they can but you can’t waste 4-5 minutes because one person is not done. I think these are the kinds of little things that add up over a period and make it so you run out of time at the end.
3.) Describe a strategy that you observed and may apply to your classroom.
I really like how she deals with tardy students. Tardy students are one of the easiest ways to let your classroom be disrupted. You can either make a big deal out of it and address them and waste class time, or you can have established procedures for how to deal with them quietly. A student walks in, she gestures to them to grab the handout for the day and they sit down quietly. This happened so smoothly that it was obvious to me that she had gone over this with them at the start of the semester. I do not want my classroom to be interrupted by inevitable tardies – so I will probably adopt a similar policy.
Have a nice week everybody~