How to prepare to conduct a classroom observation

I would like to do an observation with a teacher. From an instructor's standpoint, can you please help me answer the following questions, as if you were the student doing the observation so that I can see what exactly I need to be pay attention to when I complete my observation. I need assistance preparing an outline of what I need to include in my paper; this includes making observations, taking notes regarding instructional strategies and techniques, assessment techniques, classroom management and arrangement, and behavioral strategies. The paper has to include:

1. Teacher background (educational level and number of years of teaching experience)
2. Subject area and grade level
3. Description of lesson content
4. Types of instructional methods
5. Behavior management techniques
6. Instructional strategies
7. Assessment strategies

Solution Summary

For education/teaching majors: when preparing to observe a teacher in the classroom, there are a sequence of steps one should take in order to make the most of the experience. It is important to be prepared ahead of time and remain focused during the actual observation. In following some simple steps, it will be easier to prepare the written observation. Besides fulfilling a required piece of coursework, this observation can also serve later as a resource when moving into the classroom for student teaching, classroom management, etc.