5: A Reflection of Observations


For opening a lesson:

– If there is to be a quiz, get it done first. Students who care as they should can’t think beyond that hurdle.

– Get students involved immediately. Get there head out of the hallway shenanigans and into learning mode. A think-pair-share question about what they learned the last class seems to work well.

– Don’t waste too much time with “business.” One of my mentors repeats the same announcements at the beginning of class so they never listen. It is a bad tone to start class with.

Applied during a lesson:

-Proximity is a powerful tool.

-Control note taking. It depends on the subject and students. In honors biology students get so caught up taking notes that they do not listen. “No Parrots!” Notes can be written at home when they read or pause and have them summarize what they just learned. That is the moment you get the best questions from students.

-Don’t commit to answering every question. You know where you are going with the lesson, don’t get derailed. Handle questions with wisdom. Let them know that sometimes you will not be answering them but always give a chance for them after.

For lesson closure:

– “Class ends when I release you, not the bell.” And mean it. No one likes students who quit 5 or 10 minutes before class is over. Make every minute worth their time.

-Don’t allow them to line up at the door when they think class should be over…they will do it sooner and sooner.

-Make the end of the class exciting and engaging so they want to come back.
3 common transitions:

Bathroom – students just get up and go. They know they will be missing important things and hurry or they plan ahead.

Changing activities in class – teacher gives warning, states expectations, then holds students accountable.

Beginning of class – if they are tardy they get a detention.
A strategy for my classroom from my observations:

Detentions – they are given for not coming to class on time, any unsafe behavior, any inappropriate behavior.

Students write their own name on the clip board hanging on the wall. They do not do their own work nor sit and do nothing. Detentions are a benefit not a burden on the teacher. They do work for the class (organizing, cleaning ect.) during the detention. If they do not come they receive a second one. If they still do not come they are referred to the office.