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  1. 1. TMA 1 Classroom Observation I. Learning IntentIn this classroom observation, I would focus on two parties that are involved in the learning process: theteacher and the student. On the teacher side, I want to know how she would facilitate and implementthe following: 1. Starting of the lesson 2. Discussion of the lesson 3. Classroom management 4. Working on an activity 5. Assessment during and after the lesson 6. Ending the lessonI would also like to know how the teacher shows or demonstrate her expertise in handling the class. Onthe students’ side, I want to focus my observation on the following: 1. How students’ react and follow their teacher’s instruction 2. Express their understanding of the lesson 3. Express if there is confusion in the lesson being discussed 4. Respond to teacher’s stimulating question 5. Do the activity 6. Generally behave during the classThese are the important points that I would focus on my observation. The learning experience is alwaysaffected these two factors: Teaching method and students’ behavior.The things that I will get during my observation would help me to answer the following questions:  What are the tools and strategy the teacher used to help stimulate the students mind?  How did the students respond to it?  Did the teacher achieve her outcome goals?  Can you describe the learning flow in the class?  What are the interesting moments that you think worth evaluating?  Do you think both parties are satisfied with the learning experience?  What are the factors do you think help or hinder the students from learning?  What can you say about the communication that happened between the teacher and the students?  Do you think the students fully understand the teacher’s question?  Did the students express their ideas well? Joan Hope Elgincolin 1 2011-82314
  2. 2. TMA 1 Classroom ObservationAfter answering the probing questions above, it would be appropriate to give some recommendationsby answering this one question, “How can we improve the whole teaching and learning experience?”Since I will only do the observation once, I understand that the situation in the classroom is not alwaysthe same. It is also appropriate to include my familiarity with the students and the teacher. To givefurther background: It was 2010 when I started to teach in Sarasas Ektra school. The G5 students that Iwill be observing now were the old G3 students that I have taught with music theory and singing. I knowmost of the students by name. I also know their different personalities and the overall behavior of theclass. It’s interesting to see the changes that happened to the class after two years. I have also knownMs. Stella since I started teaching in this school. Prior to her teaching here she was already a teacher inthe Philippines. Ms. Stella has been teaching here since 2003 as a science teacher. She handled the samesubject for 10 years and she been transferred to different levels from time to time. Joan Hope Elgincolin 2 2011-82314
  3. 3. TMA 1 Classroom Observation I. My ObservationsIt was one Thursday afternoon when I entered to a Grade 5 classroom where Ms. Stella is teachingscience. She has been teaching in Bangkok, Thailand for almost 10 years. She is already in her late 30’sand yet she still looks young. Her vibrant personality seems to be coming out from her passion onteaching. She smile and nod at me when she saw me taking a seat at the back. She then informed thestudents that someone will observe the class. After that, she continued on with her introduction of herlesson about the different parts and functions of a plant.Finishing the introduction about plants, she started the lesson by giving out worksheets that thestudents are expected to answer at the end of the discussion. The worksheet will serve as a guide forthe student to follow the discussion they’ll be having. In front of the class display two big visual aids. Thefirst one shows the different parts of the plants while the other one shows the functions of each part.She then continued on by writing the parts of the plants in big letters so that the students at the backwould clearly see the words written in the white board. After this, Ms. Stella started asking questionsabout plants to draw the attention of the students. Some of the students who were not paying attentionwere called so that they would focus their mind on the discussion. She proceeded on naming thedifferent parts of the plants by giving students chance to answer it themselves. Of course, the studentswho have stock-knowledge about plants enthusiastically answered her. She continued on usingstimulating questions to encourage the students to participate in the process. There are students whoare unsure of their answers but were encouraged raising their hands because of the friendly atmospherein the classroom. Their answers were being acknowledged and they like it. Ms. Stella knows how tomotivate the students by giving clues to the students so that it would be easier for them to recall somestock-knowledge they have in mind. Joan Hope Elgincolin 3 2011-82314
  4. 4. TMA 1 Classroom ObservationAfter giving all the parts of the plants, Ms. Stella continued on explaining the functions of each parts andhow it affect the other parts of the plants. She tells how the each part helps on nurturing the plant, itsgrowth and its seed production. She also ask the students to visualize the process by imagining thingslike for example, she said “How do you think plants could hold enough water if it’s raining hard?”, “Doyou think the plants could protect itself from harmful insects?”, “How do you think the plants produceseeds?” The students try to answer on their own imagination what could be the possibilities and Ms.Stella uses their answers as a platform to share the facts about the plants. In the entire discussions, it’sclear that she was trying to connect with the student’s imagination and perception about plants and sheasked them to participate in the discussion by giving them stimulating questions.During the discussion I observed that majority of the students were really listening to her. Some of themwere fiddling things but they still listens to her. Yet there are still other students who are doing differentthings like writing and answering assignments from other subjects. With regard to student management,Ms. Stella is good in keeping the students awake and engaged throughout the whole lesson, althoughsome of them are not that really interested to listen yet they are not distractive to the class. When astudent has not given the right answer, she would ask other students to help answer it. If she feels thatthe students are tired answering her questions, she would then tell them that she would give extrapoints for those who can answer. These kinds of motivation encourage the students to participate more.Sometimes she laughs at the answers of the students in a way to loosen up a little bit the tension in theclass, especially if the answer is something different or funny. She also gives feedback to student’sparticipation to encourage them to think better because some of them doesn’t think enough about thequestion and just keep on guessing. I can see that although the time of the class is quite tiring for boththe students and the teacher, Ms. Stella still shows an untiring look and an enthusiastic personalitytowards the lesson and to her students. Joan Hope Elgincolin 4 2011-82314
  5. 5. TMA 1 Classroom ObservationAt the end of the discussion, she asks the students to answer the worksheets that were handed to themat the beginning of the lesson. The students were given freedom to choose how to make theirworksheets interesting. They can color the plants and write the parts and its function. Some studentsgive more effort by putting colorful margins and interesting worksheets header. I think this kind ofactivity is suitable not only reinforcing the lesson to the students, but also providing an opportunity torelease their creative imagination. They have given the freedom how to answer the worksheets yet theywere still guided by their teacher.Unfortunately, there are teachers who don’t know how to motivate their students to answer a particularquestion. To fix this problem, they should not only know how, but they should also need to know whenthe right time is. Joan Hope Elgincolin 5 2011-82314
  6. 6. TMA 1 Classroom Observation II. My ReflectionsOn my reflection, it’s obvious that Ms. Stella has shown her expertise in the lesson and classroommanagement with her effortless styles of engaging the class in the discussion. She has various methodson keeping the students’ attention and also flexible on dealing difficult students. After the class, I tookthe opportunity to talk to her about her teaching goals and follow-up lessons. She told me that after theclass she has already planned to have the class do an activity of planting a plant in a plastic containerand have it grow on their own. They would do an observation for 1-2 weeks about the growth of theplant and write it in their journals.Through my quick interview with Ms. Stella, I can see that she really knows what she’s doing. One of thethings that I observe is how she describes the follow-up activities and lessons their going to have for thenext few weeks. It seems like she is more focused on telling me what the students would learn throughthe activities rather than telling me the entire process of the activity. The ability to see the whole lessonand make connections of the activities and its relevance to the whole course goal is indeed a mark oftrue expert. She is learner-focused rather than activity or lesson-focused.She has also mastered the flow of teaching process. She knows how to start, when to speed up andwhen to slow down in the lesson. She’s sensitive to the learning experience the student’s areundergoing. She knows how to tell if the students understand the lesson or if they are confused with thelesson. I can say in my own experience as a new teacher that my lack of experience led me to teachwithout flow. This kind of flow in the classroom is not only about the flow about the entire one lesson,but the flow from one lesson to another. It’s the flow of all the learning processes to achieve specificgoal outcomes at the end of the semester. There should be connectivity in terms of tracking thestudents’ progress. Joan Hope Elgincolin 6 2011-82314
  7. 7. TMA 1 Classroom ObservationA new teacher doesn’t have a clear idea what the students know and where to start to teach them, butan experienced teacher easily identify the level of the students and how to bring to bring them from onelevel of understanding to another. The ability to move effortless from knowledge to comprehension,from analysis to synthesis, and from application to evaluation, that is a mark of an expert.Now on my reflection on the students, I have seen that the students are more comfortable to learn ifthey see that the teacher knows what she is doing. A lot of teachers underestimate the ability of thestudents to discern the preparedness of a teacher. Excellent preparation and sense of control areimportant not only in classroom management but also to teaching effectiveness. Students will not learnfully if they doubt the teacher’s ability. I remember back in my college years when a new teacher justarrived and taught us about theology. It was obvious that he has not prepared himself on teaching atertiary level. He cannot answer most of the inquiries of my classmates, and it didn’t take long beforethe whole class lost their trust to the credibility of our new teacher. After some time, we didn’t botherto ask more questions because we doubt his answers already.Another thing that I observe is how Ms. Stella shows her desire to teach the students. It reflects on howshe interacts with them. She values their answers, praises them when they are trying to think and guidethem when they needed it. She adjusts immediately her teaching style to accommodate slow andconfuse students. Her teaching style is like driving a car. She doesn’t hold the wheel fixed, she’s incontrol and at the same time flexible. And as a teacher we should do the same thing. We should showgenuine interest to the students and adjust our teaching style to meet their needs. Once again, Iremember back in my high school years when an intern student went to our class to teach us aboutAlgebra. I’m one of those students who didn’t have a good foundation in Math and I can be easilyconfused with mathematical terms and rules. Unfortunately, the new intern teaches us like she is justspitting information in front of the class. Joan Hope Elgincolin 7 2011-82314
  8. 8. TMA 1 Classroom ObservationThe scene goes like this: She would go in front, bring her visual aids, write a problem, explain the ruleswhile solving the problem, and then even before I could draw another deep breath, she would ask us toget a sheet of paper and answer the problems. The experience was like a massacre, we were all shotdead by her inflexible way of teaching. Definitely, she’s not effective especially for slow learners like me.Teaching is indeed a skill that has many sub skills. As an aspiring teacher, I know that my effectivenesslies not only on my mastery of the subject but on how to use my resources and style to transfer myknowledge and skills to my students. It takes a lot of efforts to achieve flow in the lesson and throughthe whole series of lessons.I believe that the heart of teaching lies in the desire of the teacher for her students to learn, and if wewant our students to learn, we begin to open up ourselves to be flexible on various ways and make ourlesson relevant and fun at the same time. It’s also important to remember that we should not letourselves to be idealistic when it comes to our students’ expectations. I have seen it and experience itmyself many times. Effective teaching indeed is about meeting our students need with our flexibleteaching methods back-up by creativity to make learning a fun experience for both students andteacher. Ms. Stella Joan Hope Elgincolin 8 2011-82314