I want to think about Teacher Observations for my Students

Discussion in 'General Education' started by BioAngel, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 21, 2009

    I want to spend more time this year being able to observe my students and assess them based on those informal observations that happen every day in class. I just don't know how to go about doing that and I was wondering if maybe a teacher here could offer me some help...

    1. What behaviors or skills do you observe for?
    2. Do you do individual student observations or group observations?
    3. How do you provide feedback to the student/group?
    4. What DOES NOT work when doing teacher observations?
    5. What tips and suggestions do you have with implementing this type of assessment?
    6. Have you ever had your students observe one another and provide feedback?

    My setting is a 5th grade science classroom of about 16-18 students, where we do a lot of hands on, group projects (inquiry based curriculum is used).

    When I've tried searching for teacher observations, it only gives me results about TEACHERS being observed, not teachers observing students. :(
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2009

    BioAngel, search "action research in the classroom."
     
  4. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 21, 2009

    Thanks Mrs. K :) I took a look at a few sites on active research and I'm not sure if it's for the teacher to use to reflect on his/her work or if its for student feedback. Can you clarify for me?
     
  5. fuzed_fizzion

    fuzed_fizzion Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2009

    A few years ago I took this class around deigning groupwork in the science and math classroom. Here is a link to the book that was part of the class...http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Groupwork-Strategies-Heterogeneous-Classroom/dp/0807733318. The book has several main ideas such as for each task having groupwork behaviors (3-5 max) and skills (3-5 max).

    When I am observing groups working, I have a seating chart with a box representing where each child is in the group. On the top of the chart I list the behaviors on the left and the skills on the right. Then when I am observing the groups I use a plus, check, minus system for each behavior and skills. The marks for behavior are on the left of the box and the marks for the skills are on the right of the box. (I hope this is making sense.) The books has some ideas on how to observe and provide feedback.

    I do have students do the observing and then report back to the group. I have found this to be fairly valuable because the feedback is coming from a peer instead of the teacher. However, I still only have students observing for a few things.

    My feedback may take several forms. At the end of class, it can be specific positive feedback. I also have met with groups the following day. I have copied the chart and given the group their chunk of it to analyze and set goals for the week or day.

    I hope this helps. Please ask more questions about anything I am unclear about or you want me to explain in more depth.
     
  6. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 21, 2009

    Action research refers to your investigation of what goes on in your particular classroom. It frequently involves student observation, videotaping, surveys, etc. We talked about it a lot in my research class for my MA, and I thought you might find the kinds of resources you're looking for on those sites.
     
  7. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 22, 2009

    Thanks Mrs. K--- I think my dept actually looked at something similar. It was a Japanese method, but I can't think of the name right now. I'll look into it more.

    Fuzed--- thanks for your insight. I have to run now, but I'll look over your link and thoughts soon :)

    Anybody else?
     

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