One thing I really liked about the teacher I observed was her sponge assignments for right when the students come into class, they know right away to come in grab their folder and get started on the assignment on the board or in their folder. The 8th grade group had a passage on the board to revise and correct and they reviewed as a class when finished. The 7th grade class had a list of words they needed to use in a sentence and also shared when finished. This quick assignment made it so the kids were ready to jump into the lesson after and they actually even had fun with it. The teacher used different strategies to help the kids enjoy the assignment like assigning the first one who finished correctly as stamper, who goes around and checks everyone else’s paper. During lessons her kids were all very attentive and in the event that she noticed they were starting to lose interest or get side tracked she would ask random questions to pull them back into the lesson. She was also up and walking the class constantly, checking work, unless she was teaching the lesson at the board then she was all over the room. When it was time to close the lesson she clearly stated that time was almost up so they needed to find a good stopping point and proceed to put their materials away. This time of the class is usually hectic but when I was watching her class they were all very respectful and got up put away their things and sat down when finished, quietly too! She has the processes in her class down to routine, the kids always know what to expect and act accordingly.
When I was observing the biggest transition, I noticed was class change. The 8th grade class was a bit rowdier than the 7th grade class but still by the time the bell rang for class to start each student was in their seats with their materials ready to start. I was told that it was school policy that if they were not seated and ready by the bell that they would be considered late, but none the less it proved effective for the students and teacher. Bathroom was another transition but I did not see big problems with it. Students went and came back on their own so I assume they know that they cannot take advantage of the bathroom pass because only 2 or 3 kids left the entire period and came back fairly quickly. One of the 7th grade classes I watched had their lunch period right after that class and usually students are ready for lunch they tune out and I did not really see any of that. The kids were always really attentive and engaged.
One strategy I plan on using in my class is to be relateable to real-life. While the teacher was giving a lecture about plot she mentioned began with a story about the intro to a video game. This is something the kids knew well and could connect to the content they are learning. She also told the kids a funny story about when she was in middle school, and they loved it. It helped her get them to relate to the book they were reading a little more.