Observation in a week

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Linguist92021, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 21, 2014

    I normally don't get nervous because of observations, but this one will be an even more important one than the others. If I get renewed at the end of this year, I will be tenured, so the renewal is a big decision. And because they have to decide by spring, this observation will be an important (although not the only one) factor.
    So I want to make sure I'm doing a great job.

    We're reading Twelve Angry Men, and next Tuesday will start Act 3 (the last part). I like Tuesday more than Monday, because the kids can be a little too hyper or too sleepy from the weekend parties, and attendance can be an issue. I chose 5th period, a big class, can be loud and chatty, but can be amazing, and I think they will pull it together for the observation (they told me so, after I told them I chose that class for the honor lol). They're also more mature, not one individual behavior problem. They're also very into this lesson.

    I don't have anything fancy planned.
    - Warm up: vocabulary
    - Assign roles for the reading
    - read for about 20 minutes reader's theater style. I will also pull all the desks together to form one long table where the students can sit as if they were a jury deliberating. They can act it out more. We'll start doing it like that tomorrow, so it won't be new.
    - answer a few questions on the packet I've made (comprehension, analysis, etc). I will make them cite the text to justify their answers (one of the standards)

    It doesn't sound all that, I want to make it better. I'll probably add a prediction and maybe a reflection at the end.

    Right now we read the entire act (takes 2 days) and then on the 3rd day we do the packet, it works better this way, but they way I planned it is better for observation so it's not just reading.

    How can I make this better?

    (My P is not looking for anything fancy, last year we read a novel, and as we read we stopped and discussed. At the end we answered some analysis / reflection questions. Did vocab for the warm up and my P was happy with it.)
     
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  3. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Oct 21, 2014

    I think your lesson sounds fabulous! I actually think the readers theater idea and having the students sit in the desks makes it more interesting. I think the only thing that could be missing is group/partner work. I'm not sure about your P, but mine always wants to see some sort of cooperative learning taking place. I would incorporate this, even if it was something as quick as a think-pair-share. Maybe you could also add some personal response/reflective writing.

    But you can't get everything in one lesson! I'm sure you will be great.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 21, 2014

    Observations should be what you regularly do, not a dog and pony show:2cents: your plan sounds good but if you want to spice it up a bit, how about a video clip fom the movie, some reflection on how the movie clip it's with what they understand/ pictured so far...
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 21, 2014

    Yes, at the end I will add a prediction and a reflection activity (as I said in my OP). Probably predicting what will be the outcome and reflecting on a specific juror's actions, or what they would do if they were one of the jurors, etc.

    In alt. ed. we do like partner work and we don't :) At least the way I've experienced it is that if we can make it work, it's great, but it doesn't seem as important as at other schools. We have difficult kids and it's understood that we can't do partner work with some classes or on some days, or with some, we should avoid it.
    But with this class, I can squeeze it in.

    Czacza: yes, what I have planned is pretty much the same thing we have been doing, except for the questions squeezed into the lesson. I'd rather have a boring, less impressive lesson that works, than something new and innovative and it would fall apart :)

    Yes, I am looking to spice it up a bit.
    I did download the play, and I showed them Act 1 yesterday, to the part where we left off. I did that so they see how they can act more if they want and then we analyzed the difference between reading the play and watching it.
    I will probably show them Act 2 next Monday.
    I don't think showing them a quick part would be beneficial.
    I need to find another spice :)
     
  6. Ms.Blank

    Ms.Blank Companion

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    Oct 21, 2014

    I have no ideas, but good luck! You're going to do awesome. I love reading your posts on these boards; you're so positive and full of great advice from your own teaching experience. Your love of the profession is always shining through...I'm sure your observer(s) will see this, too!
     
  7. P Chang

    P Chang Companion

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    Oct 21, 2014

    Sounds like a fun lesson!

    *DISCLAIMER* I'm not yet a teacher, so feel free to tell me my idea is dumb, but…

    Something I do with students I tutor in reading is to ask them to take on the role of either one of the characters in what they just read, or take on the role of a bystander who has just heard what was spoken between the characters, and add two or three sentences to the story.

    If in the middle of a story, then it can be a continuation of what was going on where the story was paused, or it can be a lead into what they think will happen next. If at the end of the story, then they can choose to end it with a twist.

    This gives me insight in how well they understood what was going on in the story, how they interpreted what they read, as well as gets them to express some creativity.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 21, 2014

    P Chang - no, your idea is not dumb at all! I have done a lot of the 'alternative ending", where the students finished the story with a different ending. I usually just asked for a paragraph, but it can be made into a more extensive assignment. I had done some variations, where I had listed specific characters and they had to tell me what happened with them (Crime and Punishment novel, once I backtracked to an earlier point and told them so and so didn't confess yet, but so and so did overhear the secret, etc), or just told them to have a different ending, but it had to be happy and with a solution to the conflict, or other times it was free choice. (short stories in summer school).

    with this play I already had them predict last week, but I don't think there's much left to the imagination at the very end: the jurors can vote all guilty, all not guilty or hung jury, so there wouldn't be much chance for creativity.

    Ms. Blank: thank you, you are very sweet!
     
  9. P Chang

    P Chang Companion

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    Oct 21, 2014

    Ah, I'm not familiar with the play, but now I understand why 12 is used in the title. As the old saying goes, I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6. At any rate, I now get that 12 is referring to a jury.

    Best of luck!
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 22, 2014

    LOVE your ideas. You will shine with this plan.
     
  11. a.guillermo

    a.guillermo Rookie

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    Oct 22, 2014

    Personally, I think that you should offer an honest reflection of what you do on a daily basis. Don't do anything different than you normally would; it's like false advertising of yourself.

    When I was young (forever ago) I worked at a Dunkin Donuts, and worked with an older lady, named Nancy. We were having a store inspection of employee performance, and Nancy said something to me that has really stuck with me ever since. She told me to not behave any differently than I normally would; there is no point in lying to them (they can tell that you are over-performing) and it will give you an un-true representation of what they really think.

    Honesty is the best policy; perhaps just pretend that the P isn't in the room, and carry on as always.

    If you are a good teacher, P's choice should be obvious.



    For me, this alleviates all the tons of pressure that everyone else seems to have. You should try it too. :)
     
  12. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2014


    Well, like I said, I don't really get nervous because of observations, for the same exact reasons you stated. The P knows me, and knows how I teach. Also the student reaction would be obvious if I tried something different, and these kids would possibly go as far as making a comment. Not to throw me under the bus but honestly wondering why the difference.

    So I don't feel ton of pressure, I'm not freaking out I just want to make sure I consider everything. This lesson will be 90 % of what we do for these 3 weeks.
     
  13. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 22, 2014

    I'm so glad I tried out moving the desks into one big table like the ones in the jury room. It was so disruptive. Not moving the desks, but to have them sit like that. I did it with 2 classes out of the three. We had a lot of other things going on, probation constantly calling kids out drug testing, so a lot of them were tense, and then the calling, coming in and out was very disruptive, and those who test dirty are basically useless after that because they know they'll probably get locked up.
    And their friends and their enemies are talking about them, so the atmosphere is very different. A lot of the kids who are normally on point were spacing out, forgot their part, it was not how it's been.

    We'll finish up reading this part tomorrow in these 2 classes, so I'll have to see what adjustments I have to make.
     
  14. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 27, 2014

    So, the big day is tomorrow :)

    I thought about the lesson, and I can 't really make it any better or different (I guess I've met my limitation lol), I've made 1 small change though.

    This is the plan:
    - warm up: vocab (5 new words from the play, word + definition copied)
    - part of the packet: 6 questions we'll do together as a refresher of what happened so far in the play (part. points awarded for answers)
    - desks will already be moved into one big table shape. Students volunteer for roles. Read 3 pages of the play (this is not much, we read more before)
    - answer a few questions in the packet I made.
    - reflection writing assignment (1 paragraph)

    I reminded the kids today that the P will be there tomorrow. Told them I'm not asking them or looking for them to do anything different than normal, just be their 'usual wonderful selves', however, the initial chit-chat when they first come in class, well, that should be toned down a bit :)
     
  15. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Oct 27, 2014

    I think it's a good thing that you're up front with your students about being observed, especially with your student population -- if you didn't explain and were at all tense with the P there, I wonder if they would think it was because of something they did that she was there or that you were tense. In the past, I haven't mentioned it to students ahead of time, and it was funny to watch the students' reactions, from the ones who froze completely to the ones who never even noticed she was there. I think students like to know that you trust them and that you even picked them to "show off" :)

    Break a leg! Not that you need the luck -- you'll be amazing!
     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 28, 2014

    Have a wonderful time with your lesson. I have a feeling your students will rise to the occasion.
     
  17. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 28, 2014

    Good luck today!
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 28, 2014

    I guess it went ok.
    I had to give a brief lesson plan to my P, nothing major, just so she knows what was planned, what the students would be doing, etc. I also wrote the objectives and a little background on the previous weeks. She also wanted all handouts the students had, as always.

    We did everything that was planned, including the final reflection, the timing was absolutely perfect. The kids weren't perfect, but if they were, she might think I bribed them. They weren't bad either, a little talking, but that's actually ok, they were all eager to read and to answer the questions in the packet.
    I felt that it was a little chaotic, because some were lagging, but a lot of them were very happy to move on, so I had to repeat the answers a few times (I didn't like that part).

    There were no problems though - even if there were, it would be ok, because she wants to see how I handle it. But I'd rather not have it happen when she's there.

    So I guess it was ok.
     
  19. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 28, 2014

    I think your lesson sounds great! Just a question: have you set up the tables like that before and have they discussed in that fashion before? I ask only because you probably don´t want to try it out for the first time on the day of your observation (I´m sure you already know this). If you haven´t, I would give it a test run before your observation (of course, I also teach 6-year- olds so I am used to everything being new to them and there being a major state of confusion when anything is different from the norm...you know, blank stares, millions of questions, just real utter confusion).
     
  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 28, 2014

    Oh, I didn´t realize you had the observation already. When will she sit down with you to discuss the observation?
     
  21. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oct 28, 2014

    Tami: yes, we have been reading Act I, Act II and now Act III as readers theater. This is the second time we have read with the tables like this. So reading it is not new and they really enjoy it, the tables are kinda new.
    I thought it was worth it, it was different.

    She has to sit down with me within a certain times frame, I think within a week at the most. So either this week or next.
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 29, 2014

    Sounds like it went well! I'm sure she will have great things to say about it.
     
  23. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    So I have met with my P. She said the lesson was great, the students were engaged, well behaved, etc, and it was such a huge difference since my last observation.
    She finally said that it is actually very refreshing to see someone so early in their career with so much improvement and so many positives.

    :)
     
  24. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Oct 30, 2014

    WOW! Wonderful news!
     
  25. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Oct 30, 2014

    Yay! Positive feedback is the best! Congratulations! :)
     
  26. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Oh I forgot. What she thought was the best thing is that I uses a suggestion she gave me on mu last observation (spring, last year). She said she noticed that I didn't give much positive feedback, when they gave me the correct answer, I just moved on (I was never the type that would praise them for every little thing). She suggested that I give feedback, because it would motivate them more.
    She said now I gave positive feedback to every correct answer, nothing huge just 'good job', 'that's right', or 'that's what I was looking for', etc. The funny thing is that I didn't notice it, so I guess it became second nature.
    This is what she was so happy about, that she gives me a suggestion and I use it.
     
  27. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 31, 2014

    Integrating previous feedback makes SUCH a difference in subsequent observations. You have nailed it!
     

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