Classroom Observation Blog

1- In my observation, I was in the setting of a 7th-grade geography class which was also dabbling into world religion during my time in class. Since many of these topics were more foreign to the 7th-graders often times class would begin by having a brief discussion about the topic where the students can share their background knowledge as well as other things that they have learned so far in the unit. This allows for students to help each other  get onto the same page.

Once the ‘brief’ had taken place it was commonplace for the main section to be notes of some sort, usually, document camera-assisted lecture. Although this was supplemented by a slideshow of pictures as well as anecdotal but topical interjections from the teacher.

Another handy tactic employed by my assigned teacher was to use a video or slideshow or more fun activity as a figurative carrot in front of the horse which would be the class. She would tease them with a video and use it as an incentive to pay attention during notetaking, take down the notes as well as contribute to the discussion. This seemed to be quite effective as the students really responded to the idea of watching a film. At the end, an exit ticket was often used, although not for every class. The high achieving period who had a beautiful discussion which included practically the whole class did not get assigned an exit ticket, likely at the teachers discretion.

2-  The most common transition would have to be the beginning of class, which depending on the activity involved a friendly greeting to many of the individual students as they trickle in and then a minute or two of small talk (especially for first class of the day which I often observed) to allow for students to get into the swing of school, and then it was right into the lesson via the graphic organizer they had for their note-taking.

Another transition would be the way that students requested to use the restroom, the classroom policy was relatively lax and as long as the student was not interrupting all they had to do was bring their passbook up and silently get it signed. Simple as that.

Finally, the transition to leave for the period was one that often included an exit ticket or at the very least note taking up until the last minute. My teacher seemed to specifically try to keep a tidbit of information that would be on the upcoming quiz/test until the end to ensure that students kept paying attention to the material and did not pack up and tune out  early.

3-  My teacher used a token system that was used to monitor and reward good behavior while eliminating poor choices. It is a jar for each class and for good behavior they gain a certain amount of gems, once reaching a full jar a free day is rewarded. The activities for that day are up to the students, do they want a work day or a fun activity related to the class, up to them. The gems can also be lost for poor behavior. The biggest impact here was with the substitute teacher, using the gems as an incentive to do what they should be doing while the subtitute is around would definitely be a great incentive for the students and something I very will may bring into my own classroom someday.