This is a first grade class with 7 students doing a reading lesson utilizing the direct instructional strategies and curriculum. The entire lesson lasted 20 minutes of time.
1.) Describe effective management strategies you observed for opening a lesson, applied during a lesson, and for lesson closure.
Her lesson was started at the classroom door. She welcomed each student with a handshake and a positive comment to each one. Her classroom was all set up and materials were arranged at a Moon-shaped table. Each student went to their spot along the table and looked at the storybook in front of them. As soon as the teacher sat down, she asked for everyone to have eyes on me. She stated the learning goals for the lesson and had students individually repeat them back to her. Each one received a positive comment and she moved them into the lesson. Reminding them of the goal at appropriate times. At the end of the lesson, she thanked them for their hard work and how proud she was of their learning. Then gave them instructions to return to their desk as they were getting ready to move into another activity.
2.) Name 3 common transitions you observed and how did the teacher handle those.
Students were reading with a partner the same passage practicing for a fluency test later that day. She used a kitchen timer as a signaling device for the duration of the activity. She established the partners and they already had their reading passage and instructed that each person will have five minutes to read the words. When the timer went off, circle the last word read on your card and pass it onto your partner. While the reader was reading, she was able to take notes on individual students. The timer went off, and students stopped reading, circled the last word and passed the card to the partner. The teacher initiated the second group by repeating the instructions and in less than 30 seconds, started the timer.
Getting ready for lunch: Students were involved in a variety of centers through out the room. There’s a math game center, an art project center, a computer center and a reading center. She used a music recording to signal the groups to end their center. The music gave them three minutes to end their lessons, clean up the area and get back to the desk for lunch. Students were able to stop the computer, shut down to an appropriate program, stop the art projects-clean up the art table, the math game ended peacefully and the readers inserted the bookmarkers in their books and moved to the desks. She gave them compliments and showed individual praise to a few students. She said, “I like how the art table is cleaned up and all the supplies are put away. Thank you and that is a huge help to the next group the next time.’
The third transition was at the end of the day and getting ready to go home. Everyone had a homework assignment to read with parents or a sibling at home. The book was the same book they used for their reading lesson earlier that morning. Each student had their book in their desk and their backpack on their chairs. She called one student name and they put the book in their backpack and called on another student. Once you put your book in the backpack, you went to get your coat, hat, boots on and then to your place in the line. Instead of a mad rush to the coats, it was an orderly paced procession thus eliminating the confusion and congestion in the classroom.
3.) Describe a strategy that you observed and may apply to your classroom.
It is called inside-outside circle. She used this activity in a math lesson. This group of 12 students were learning to recognize geometric shapes to their words. She had two sets of cards. One had the shapes drawn on the card. The other set had the words written on the card. Students made two circles facing each other. She passed out one set of shape cards to the inside circle. And the other set of word cards to the outside circle. She was very careful in keeping the card-matches in the same order. She then used music in the background and instructed for the inside circle to move one person to their right. Next, both students then showed their cards to each other. If they matched, the inside student steps to the outside circle and stands next to their match. In four whole group moves (to the right) the entire two circles will be matched: shape to the correct word.
We repeated this three times. The challenge came at the end of the math activity when she mixed up the cards. And the students played the game, almost by themselves. There was little direction from the teacher. Students were helping others and at the end of the game, the teacher and the group did a loud cheer. We’re number 1, We’re number 1.
I think the music in the background was a key factor for this group. It eliminated the verbal outburst in the room and it made the atmosphere more relaxing.
The cheer at the end was a great way to celebrate the success.