Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Observing a family tree lesson
While Trisha, the other English teacher at Pukllasunchis was teaching a lesson involving the vocabulary of a family tree (grandparents, parents, brother, sister) I observed the lesson with the idea of giving her some feedback.
The students in the classroom were divided into two groups. The classroom itself was bright and colorful! The type of classroom students like to study in. As soon as the students came in the door, they sat down, got out their notebooks, were quiet.... ready to learn. I could tell immediately that this was a classroom with structure, where learning was prized by the teacher and the students.
First Trisha had drawn on the whiteboard, the basic family members from granparents to grandchildren. Students were to copy the example on the whiteboard, and then name each of the family members. Once the students had completed this assignment in their notebooks, they could come up to the whiteboard and write in the name of one of the family members.
Once all the names of family mambers had been filled in, i.e. grandmother, sister, Trisha used this opportunity to have the whole class decided if what the students had written on the whiteboard was correct. In addtion, she used this as a time to teach the correct pronunciation of each new vocabulary word.
Copying the example off the whiteboard, was the first tast students needed to complete.
Trisah moved throughout the classroom, checking studetn work. I asked Trisha if she had rules and procedures in her class, and she said yes. The typical types of rules, no gum chewing, raise your hand before talking, etc. Students receive an individual grade as well as a comment on their report card related to how they work within a group structure. The group comments for the individual report cards, come largely from the other students when they complete their quarterly reflection.
Withe the direct instruction and guided practice over, students were to now draw their own family tree. Something that really impressed me at this point, was that Trisha did not give the students an example of what their family tree might look like. Instead, she allowed the creativity of the students flow! This young boy drew a Christmas tree and filled in the members of his family!
This student literally drew a tree and filled in the various members of his family.
Loved this one! Even before the family members were filled in, the most important family members had to be drawn .... the two cats and the dog!
Later in the day, I was able to debrief with Trisha. I told her I was very impressed with the structure she´d put into her classroom..... as a roaming teacher this is not always that easy. I also told her I liked how she moved through the lesson from direct instruction to guided practice to independent work. She spent little time in the front of the classroom, rather using her time to move throughout the classroom monitoring student work. At the very end of the lesson, she did a wrap up which checked to see if the students had mastered the objectives she´s set out. Throughout the whole lesson, it was obvious to me that Trisha and the students not only respected each other, but had fun completing the assignment. Trisha gets a big A+ in my book!