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.
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.