Kyndall’s 5th Blog: Classroom Observations

I observed Cyndie Beale at West Vally High School in Fairbanks, Alaska. I spent two days in her AP Biology, Honors Biology, and Biology class.

OPENING A LESSON: Cyndie Beale would explain (sometimes re-explain) what they needed to do. They were working on looking at cells under the scope so they needed to prepare the slides. She explained that only one person in the group needed to come up to get supplies, how much dye was needed per slide, etc. She even wrote it on the board. On the board was also a weekly schedule so students knew what they would be doing in class throughout the week.
APPLIED DURING THE LESSON: When students started to chit chat or veer off task, Cyndie Beale would get everyone’s attention. She’d remind them what they need to be doing and if they were done, what they could be doing. To get students attach, she’d calmly raise her hand and say “if you can hear me, raise your hand’.
LESSON CLOSURE: She got all the students attention and announced what was expect of lab clean-up such as microscopes put away, slides washed, and when you are done with your clean-up to have a seat at your desk until the bell rings.

END OF CLASS: A three minute warning with instructions on how lab cleanup would proceed.
SWITCHING TASKS: After the guest speaker, she gave the students direct instructions on what they needed to do for the lab such as get out the dissecting scope and how to look for organisms. Student already knew the groups (lab groups assigned early in the year). Student moved to their stations and began working. Teacher circulated to help and encourage as needed. You could tell that this was a normal routine.
STARTING CLASS: Cyndie Beale gave them a task they could work on for the first few minutes of class while she circulated to check their notebooks for the assignment and took attendance.

DESCRIBE A STRATEGY THAT YOU OBSERVED AND MAY APPLY TO YOUR CLASSROOM: To get their attention when working in groups, she’d raise her hand and calmly say “raise your hand if you can hear me’. The visual cue of students raising their hand would get other student’s attention and quiet the classroom quickly.