- Describe effective management strategies you observed for opening a lesson, applied during a lesson, and for lesson closure
During my class observation I’ve observed the following strategies:
At the beginning of the lesson:
The teacher greeted students at the door with a warm shake hands while smiling. As soon as I entered in the classroom I was struck by the welcoming atmosphere reflected by the posters on the walls and the seats arrangements. The various posters reflected classroom rules and consequences and samples of students work while the seats were arranged in a U shape. The lesson I observed addressed “whole number comparison’ to 6th grade students and the essential question: “How do you compare different numbers?’ was written on the board. Students seemed eager to enter the classroom and without further instructions, they checked their attendance cards, picked up their warm-up assignment, went to their seats and started working quietly for 5 minutes.
During the lesson:
While students worked on their warm-up, teacher stopped by their desks and gave feedback about their behavior and academic work. The teacher constantly praised her students: “Good job’, “Perfect’, and “You are smarter than you think you are’. Next, students started working individually on their past assignments while teacher praised them for their efforts and responses. After presenting the lesson plan and schedule, teacher stated she expected students to work together in groups to help each other while keeping their voices low. She also told students to raise their hands when they finished working on their assignments. Teacher walked between tables checking students’ activity for effort and accuracy. Students who couldn’t solve the problems raised their hands and received help from teacher who kept her voice low and thanked students for their contribution in solving problems and for helping each other. Students seemed to understand teacher’s body language. After first quarter of the class period, the teacher asked students to work in groups and to help each other. When the class became too noisy, at a teacher’s sign students started repeating: “Teacher’s voice on, students’ voice down’. While working in groups, students followed their assigned roles, helping each other. They kept their voices low and shared class materials. Students were all the time on task while doing group work. They seemed to know class rules and routines and could self-manage their class participation. Students helped each other while following a polite attitude by using terms like: ‘please’ and “thank you’ They were waiting for their turn to receive help. Students responded instantly to teacher suggestions, especially evident during transitions between activities. They waited for their turn and raised their hands. Students didn’t do or talk about other activities but the scheduled ones. They asked high level questions when they encountered difficulties and compared their results followed by discussions of real life examples. All students behaved very well and were actively engaged in class activities. They followed the class rules and routines without any class disruption.
During lesson closure:
All students followed the class schedule and the ones who finished earlier worked on alternative assignments. Students had to write an explanatory note about what they had learned in class before the class ended. Teacher praised students on their way to the door for their contribution to a successful day in math. Students cleaned their desks, aligned to the door and exit the class in order.
2. Name 3 common transitions you observed and how did the teacher handle those.
a) Students seemed eager to enter the classroom and without further instructions, they checked their attendance cards, picked up their warm-up assignment, went to their seats and started working quietly for 5 minutes.
b)The teacher assigned students to help her distributing handouts to students, while she continued talking. Students responded instantly to teacher suggestions, especially evident during activities changes.
c)During several interruptions caused by some announcements made over the interphone, students stopped working to listen and then quietly continued working on their assignments.
3. Describe a strategy that you observed and may apply to your classroom.
From the very beginning of my observation I was pleasantly surprised to watch students coming one by one into class using their right side of the door while students from the previous class left the classroom by using the right side of the door, all without any incident. While I am realistic that the same amount of discipline is hard to achieve with high school students, I still find some strategies observed that I can apply to my classroom. Thus, I really liked how students seemed to know the daily routine at the beginning of the class which consists in checking attendance cards, picking up warm-up assignment, going to their seats and starting working, all without further instructions. After observing the teacher and her class, I left with the impression that I observed an organized class in which students feel safe and maintain an atmosphere of reciprocal respect and active engagement in learning.