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Classroom Observation Analysis by Student Teacher

A classroom observation includes a variety of valuable components which should be addressed in your final "summary" every time you complete such as assignment, which is generally several times before earning a teaching certification. Details regarding what to expect/include and what is usually required by a professor are found below.

1 - Identify the teacher, course, etc.
2 - Identify the grade and academic levels
3 - Describe the content and goals of the lesson
4 - Summarize behavioral classroom management
5 - Identify instructional strategies
6 - Identify assessment tools

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In the first section, provide the name of the teacher, his/her subject, and the name of the course.

For the second part, make sure to identify the grade and academic levels. You should know if the class has any special needs students. If so, is there an instructional aide to assist the student(s); or, is the class co-taught between the core subject teacher and a special education teacher. (Note: if there is a special needs student, you should speak to the teacher you are observing ahead of time to find out what modifications are being provided. This should be included in the third section, in a separate paragraph. Particulars of a student's modified instruction may be considered private so be careful to recognize this. You may want to clear this with your professor ahead of time, and always let the teacher you observe have the last word.)

For the third section, make sure in your observation to take clear notes that you can utilize (and understand) when you start to organize your paper. Make sure you know what the goal of the lesson entails before you observe the class. (check with teacher you are observing)

Ahead of time, you can do two things to help make your assignment more manageable. First, if you have access to a tape recorder, ask the teacher for his/her permission to tape the lesson. If the teacher feels uncomfortable with this, or you don't have the recorder, make sure your notes will be clear enough to you later. This information that you collect is central to your paper and the key observations you will be discussing. The more you have to work with, the better.

The second thing is to ask the teacher ahead of time are handouts he/she will be referring to or distributing. (This should also include any beginning-of-the-year handouts students received which discussed the teacher's expectations in terms of content, rules of conduct, etc. Give the teacher you observe time to pull any previous materials together for you, if there have been any.) If you have those in front of you, the lesson will make more sense and you can save yourself time with note taking by making margin notes on the handouts. In essence, anything the teacher is already using will allow you to read them ahead of time so that you can seamlessly step into the lesson midstream and know where the students are. (You can also make little notes of questions to ask the teacher after the observation, for clarification you may need.)

When you write up the description of the lesson's content, use a chronological order from when the actual lesson began to its conclusion. This will focus on the lesson's key points in terms of the content, based upon the curriculum he/she is covering. Try not to lose focus and start talking about other issues (e.g., instructional methods or strategies). It will be tempting, but for your professor's ease in following your "report," stick to the guidelines he has provided, in that order. (If you jump around, it will confuse your professor and your grade may well suffer.)

For types of instructional methods, make sure to review those you have learned ahead of time. You might also want to have a little "cheat sheet" next to you so that you can quickly refer to it when you notice the teacher using a particular method. In this section, I would be paying attention to what is used and what is missed, commenting on both if you feel something was left out or you had difficulty seeing it. If you missed it, the kids did too.

For example, look for what used to be called the "anticipatory set," which is establishing background information that the student needs for maximum comprehension of new information being presented. This would be in the "Before" section of the B-D-A ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a detained discussion of the value of classroom observations by student teachers and how to document these properly. The text contains 2,532 words and a web reference.

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