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What to look for during an elementary classroom observation.

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Included in the solution are ways to analyze goals and philosophies of the classroom by observing the teacher, interaction between teachers and student, behaviors of students, and classroom environment. The classroom used was a kindergarten class where the observer saw the students counting and singing during circle time, then needed to write a field observation. Ideas are given on how to analyze the observation based on the following:
a. Teacher's educational goals
b. Learning environment
c. Classroom procedures and rules
d. Role of the teacher
e. Student/teacher relationship
f. Curriculum
g. Teaching methods
h. Use of technology as a resource
i. Assessment

The ideas presented can be used for any elementary classroom setting.

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Here is the observer's original assignment. The observer saw a kindergarten class during circle time singing and counting.

1. Look for and make notes regarding the following:
a. Teacher's educational goals
b. Learning environment
c. Classroom procedures and rules
d. Role of the teacher
e. Student/teacher relationship
f. Curriculum
g. Teaching methods
h. Use of technology as a resource
i. Assessment
Prepare a 350- 700-word Reflection Paper regarding your observation experience. Include the educational philosophy (or philosophies) most closely demonstrated by the classroom teacher, and explain how you came to that conclusion. (Keep in mind that teachers often use an eclectic philosophical approach.)
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Here are some ideas for analyzing the classroom:

a. Teacher's Educational Goals - here you mentioned the counting and the singing. Try to take it a step further by thinking about what else was going on. Were the kids counting together or doing individual work? Maybe part of the goal was socialization and team work?

b. Learning Environment - were the kids at ease? What did the classroom look like? Were supplies easily available? Were the desks arranged in groups or individually? Did the children feel comfortable asking questions? Was the class controlled or chaotic? Did the ...

Solution Summary

When observing a classroom for a short period of time, it is often difficult to determine what the goals and philosopies of the teacher are. Included in the solution are things to look for in an elementary classroom to help the observer analyze, and write a field observation about the following items:
a. Teacher's educational goal
b. Learning environment
c. Classroom procedures and rules
d. Role of the teacher
e. Student/teacher relationship
f. Curriculum
g. Teaching methods
h. Use of technology as a resource
i. Assessment

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Phys Ed class observation questionnaire

Observe a physical education or health education lesson for levels K-8 that is at least 30 minutes long. If you are observing a physical education lesson, it must be taught by a physical education specialist.

Interview the teacher after the lesson using the questions included on the Observation Interview Questionnaire. ( the questionnaire is attached)

Record the teacher-s responses.

Write a reflection on the classroom observation and teacher interview.

Address the following in your reflection:

What was effective about the lesson?
What strategies could be used to better meet the needs of diverse learners?
How might you change or improve the lesson?
How might technology be used to improve this lesson?
Based on the interview after the lesson, do you think the teacher applies the previously discussed best practices effectively?

What strategies from the observation and interview might you be able to use in your classroom?

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Observation Interview Questionnaire

Interview the teacher after the classroom observation. Record the teacher’s responses below. Add additional questions as needed.

1. What learning strategies do you use to help students meet the objectives of your lessons?

2. What is difficult about meeting the needs of diverse learners in the learning environment? How do you overcome the challenges of meeting diverse learners’ needs?

3. What are the benefits of integrating movement or health education into other areas of the elementary curriculum? Which best practices would you share with teachers who wish to integrate movement or health education into their classrooms?

4. What role does technology play in your physical education or health education lessons? How might technology improve your instruction?

5. How might a teacher avoid some of the pitfalls to becoming an effective physical education specialist or health education teacher?

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