Classroom Observation-H.S. Algebra I Class

I spent a day observing  my  mentor  teacher  teach all of her  classes. An interesting sight to see was how the same process repeated throughout the day varied ever so slightly in the delivery, but the responsiveness of the students varied from class to class (different students-different subjects).

The observation I am sharing was done during an Algebra  I class made up of 9/10 graders. The class  started  off  the  year  with  only  12  students,  but  it  currently  now  has  14-15 students  enrolled.  The  lesson planned for today was to finish the first  day  of the chapter review  lecture  material and  start/finish the second day of review for an upcoming Chapter test.

The students  were  assigned  the  Chapter test (practice) in  their textbook  for  homework  the  night  before,  but  since  it  was  a  last  minute  change  from  the  original  assignment, quite a few students  showed  up on this day complaining  that  they  didn’t  know  they  had  to  do  it (even  with the assignment change being stated the day before when  they  asked  what  their  homework  was).  Instead of penalizing those students who were not aware of the change  my  mentor  teacher turned the situation into a Win-Win one by making it an extra credit assignment.

Strategies employed:

When teaching, my mentor uses  good  anecdotes  or  stories  to  draw  the  students  in (to  listen) and  then  she  relates  the  story  to  the  content  and  brings their focus  back  around  to  the  content to be delivered.

If students become distracted and the sound level increases too much, my mentor addresses all  the  students without addressing anyone in particular about  what students may work  on (homework, CQ corrections, and test corrections), now  that  the  lesson/lecture  portion  was  completed.  This  list also included  doing  the  test  from  the  Algebra  Book  (for  those  who  didn’t  do  it),  the  handout  that  was  given  for  review, and any  homework  that  is  missing.

I  learned today that  last  minute  changes  to  homework  assignments  is  something  that  does  not  go  over  well  with all students  and  that  sometimes  as  a  teacher  we  have  to  be  flexible  in  forgiving  the  students for  not  getting  work  done,  especially  since  it  was due to a change to the original plan.