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Observation Sheet - Questioning

Do you feel your questions were clearly structured and readily


understood by the students?

I used both open and closed questioning to cater for both year levels and
abilities. I used questioning techniques in both a verbal and written form,
and ensured the questions were relevant to the topics being discussed. I
used questioning in two contexts (verbal and written) to assess students
listening, comprehension and written skills, and to also cater for both types
of understanding and capabilities. I had observed questioning techniques
displayed by the Mentor Teacher beforehand to gauge the level of abilities
amongst the students.


Did you use a variety of question types?

I used a variety of question types by incorporating both open and closed
questioning strategies into the verbal questioning session and the written
worksheet. Short one answer questions were used along with questions that
required short sentence answers. I discovered that some of students
working at lower levels were still able to give short key word answers to
questions that required answers that needed to be structured in sentence
form.


What balances was there between the various question types?

During the Micro Lesson I conducted an equal portion of open and closed
questioning during the group discussion but used closed questioning when
designing the worksheet. The comprehension worksheet designed for the
Whole Class Lesson allowed for more open questioning that the worksheet I
designed for the Micro Lesson.


Consider both why and when you made use of different question types?

I considered both question types so that a range of literacy skills were
considered. The students were given an opportunity to recall basic
information through closed questioning. They were given the opportunity to
demonstrate comprehension, grammar and spelling skills, and to express
ideas in full sentences through the use of open questioning.


Did you recognise any pattern in the distribution of your questions
amongst the students? Consider reasons for this pattern?

Due to the various levels of abilities in the split Year 3/ 4 classroom I
noticed that the students working at a lower level had difficulty with the
opened questions posed on the worksheet, and displayed both spelling and
grammatical errors. The students working at a higher level displayed better
spelling and grammar and were able to express ideas in writing more
fluently using connected sentences rather than one word answers.


How have you directed questions to the group?

During the Whole Class Lesson questioning was posed in the form of a
worksheet only. During the Micro Lesson the group was a small group of
six where we sat on the floor in a relaxed atmosphere and discussed the
topic at hand in a casual manner before the students were requested to
complete a short worksheet.


Have you used wait time?

I was mindful of wait time although this is an area of continuing
improvement and an area where I am still developing.


Did you make eye contact with the group as you directed your
questions?

I was mindful of making eye contact although this is an area of continuing
improvement and an area where I am still developing.


Reactions to Students Responses

How do you deal with correct responses? Do you qualify any praise
given?

I ensured I gave praise after each correct response given. I would use
phrases such as excellent, well done, I like it, good answer, thats right. I
was mindful of my body language where I endeavoured to remember to
smile at each child while I was also praising them for the correctly given
answer.

How do you deal with incorrect responses? How do you deal with
students who stumble and grope for answer?

This was not an issue that arose very often during both of my lessons. The
micro lesson was a discussion about cats therefore there was no incorrect
answers during the discussion phase because we were discussing whether
the children owned a cat and if they liked cats. During the whole class
lesson there was no verbal questioning because I read them a story and
questioning was conducted through the implementation of the worksheet.
The mentor teacher allowed me to mark the worksheets for both lessons and
this is where I provided anecdotal feedback to each student regarding
answers that were incorrect. The worksheets were then passed back to the
class teacher for checking prior to the students placing them in their English
workbooks.


Do you keep eye contact with the students until they have completed an
answer? Do you cut students off and go onto the next point before they
have finished responding?

I was mindful of making eye contact although this is an area of continuing
improvement and an area where I am still developing. I was conscious of
allowing the students to finish their answers before moving on to the next
student or question.


What use do you make of the students responses to develop the
teaching point? Have you redirected any questions in order to add to
an initial response?

There was no opportunity to make use of student responses during the
whole class lesson because there was no verbal discussion or time to
elaborate or discuss the answers on their worksheets. During the micro
lesson I was able to conduct further questioning during the discussion
sessions because of some of the students answers. An example of this was:

Me: Did you like the story?
Student: No.
Me: Why?
Student: Because I dont like cats. I like horses.

Through the use of closed questioning I was able to encourage the student to
elaborate on the answer through further closed questioning


Are you the only evaluator of the students answers?

The mentor teacher was unable to observe the micro lesson, and therefore
was unable to evaluate the discussion part of the lesson. The worksheets
were given to the class teacher with my anecdotal recordings subsequent to
both lessons for further evaluation.


Observation Sheet - Management

Was your lesson effective for managing the class?

I presented the micro lesson in a class different to that of the students
regular classroom. I found this effective in managing behaviour, and
gaining control and composure over the group. Most of the students were
interested in the topic at hand and therefore were interested in listening to
the story, having informal discussions and completing the worksheet. I
ensured that I gained attention and gave clear expectations of behaviour
before allowing the students to enter the classroom for the whole class
lesson. I enjoy reading, and I enjoy being enthusiastic when reading a story,
therefore I was able to hold the students attention during the reading
comprehension lesson. The worksheet was well designed for students with
a good level of comprehension, and an extension reading activity was
available for those students who completed their worksheets early. The
worksheet design did not allow in some cases for students who struggled
with reading comprehension and spelling and grammar. Overall the
students were engaged during the story telling, were enthusiastic and
competent in completing the worksheet, and were happy to continue with an
extension reading activity. The group of students working at a lower level
would have benefited with a worksheet designed for their capability level
which would have resulted in these group of students becoming less restless.
I was satisfied with my timing, the whole lesson being just over 30 minutes,
and I was able to bring all students including those who became restless
back on task which ended the lesson on a pleasant and successful note.

Was your organisation of materials and resources efficient and
effective?

I am a highly organised person so therefore all materials and resources were
designed, copied and ready for implementation of both lessons in good time.
All materials and resources were used efficiently and effectively during both
lessons by the use of reading materials and implementation and marking of
all worksheets.

Did you plan how and when you would distribute and collect materials?

In discussion with the class teacher it was decided what type of lessons I
would implement, the timing of each lesson, and when I would introduce
the worksheets for completion. The collection of worksheets were
conducted immediately after each lesson and subsequently marked and
passed onto the class teacher for further evaluation.

Were you aware of classroom procedures and school disciplinary
policy? How much did you know about your students?

The mentor teacher and I met the Friday before placement commenced
where we discussed school and classroom behaviour policies, and I was
given a brief review of student backgrounds, and learning abilities. Through
further observation during the one week placement I was able to gauge
personalities and learning styles of most students prior to commencing
lessons with them. The classroom and school management systems were
very prevalent and it was immediately apparent how positive reinforcement
and negative consequences were implemented both at a class and school
level.


Maintaining a Positive Attitude in the Classroom

How did you demonstrate to the students that you valued them, and
enjoyed learning?

I built relationships with students as quickly as possible by ways of smiling
at them every time I saw them, remembering their names and by talking and
engaging with them in the playground and in the classroom. I managed to
remember all the students names by the end of the week, and ensured that I
called them by their name as often as possible because I believe if you take
the time to remember a persons name then you can convey a sense of
respect and interest towards that person. I would redirect off task behaviour
by expressing an interest in whatever task they were working on. An
example of this was when a particular student would be off task by talking
to class members I would sit beside that student and ask them to show me
what they were working on. I found this method to be effective because the
student would be keen to show the work which meant they were completing
the task at the same time. During implementation of lessons I ensured that I
was smiling, expressive whilst reading, and used close proximity to students
I knew may become off task.


What aspects of your teaching style do you feel helped you maintain
class attention?

I enjoy reading therefore when I read to the class I used a lot of expression
both in my voice and facial expressions to convey the story. I observed the
students to be well engaged and looking at me whilst I read the whole class
story to them. I ensured that as I was reading the story that I walked around
and stood next to and looked at each student to demonstrate that I was
reading to each individual child. During planning phase of the lesson I
allowed enough time for each step to be implemented at a satisfactory pace
during class time which meant students were calm and settled during the
reading phase, and on task most of the time during the worksheet phase.


Did the students know what was expected of them?
I gave clear expectations of what I expected from the students when
conducting both lessons. Before allowing the students to enter the
classroom prior to commencement of the whole class lesson I advised the
students of my expectations of their behaviour when entering the classroom.
When seated I advised the students of the lesson content and of the timeline
of each part of the lesson. When conducting the micro lesson I advised the
students at the commencement of the lesson about what would be happening
throughout the lesson.


Were you able to redirect energies of attention seeking students? Did
the students have enough to do?

A majority of the students stayed on task during the whole class lesson
however I was unable to individually redirect a small group of students to
stay on task. These were the group of students that would have benefited by
having a slightly different work sheet designed to their level of ability which
may have lessened the need for redirection. The students who completed
early were given an extension reading task until the completion of the
lesson. I was mindful of keeping to the amount of time allocated for the
lesson so that off-task behaviour would be minimised.








Dealing with Minor Misbehaviour

Were you aware of what was happening in all parts of the classroom?
Did you know what each student was doing?

I cannot be 100% sure of all student activity however I was aware of a
majority of the student activity and was confident that most students were
on task when completing the independent part of the lesson. I ensured that I
was walking around the classroom for a majority of the lesson ensuring on
task behaviour and giving assistance where required. Towards the end of
the lesson I was concentrating on concluding the lesson by cleaning up
resources. During this part of the lesson some of the students became
unsettled. I need to be mindful in the future of maintaining control of the
lesson until the very end, not just close to the end of the lesson.


Did you take any action when you observed poor behaviour? Why?
Why not?

During the majority of the lesson I was walking around the classroom or
scanning the students from the front to ensure on task behaviour. To the
best of my ability when and if I observed off task behaviour I would either
stand in proximity of a student to ensure they redirected themselves to on
task behaviour or I would check their progress ensuring their understanding
or need for assistance.

Did you use non-verbal cues?

I made use of non-verbal cues to manage off task behaviour by either eye
contact from the front of the room or proximity to particular students when
walking around the classroom.

Overall Comments

Overall I believe I conducted both the micro and whole class lessons well. I
made good use of questioning techniques, gave clear expectations and used
close proximity as a behaviour management strategy. I need to be mindful
when conducting future lessons about lesson content and its age
appropriateness and to maintain full class control until the very end of the
lesson. This would be in preference to concentrating on clean-up which
allowed for a slight loss of control towards the end which meant I had to
work vigilantly to obtain student attention in order to conclude the lesson.


Schools as text looking at the whole school

Describe the school in terms of its demographics, appearance and
resources (be general here and do not name the school).

The school accommodated a small group of students (less than 150 students)
mainly from low socioeconomic backgrounds. It was apparent that the
administration recognized the need for a vigilant and successful school
management system that incorporated positive reinforcement and reward
systems along with clear guidelines of consequences for inappropriate
behaviour. The school and its staff demonstrated a community spirit where
they were aware of the need to closely monitor and nurture their students.
The staff developed close relationships with parents to encourage their
participation and support in their childs education and well-being. The
school was old in appearance and did not accommodate a large student
population. Despite the small population of students the staff still played a
significant role in ensuring that students were well catered for academically.
Breakfast club, sports sessions aimed at improving student performance and
after school sporting and music sessions were conducted and supervised by
staff at the school.


What were the roles and responsibilities of the teaching staff you
observed?

The roles of staff observed were to ensure the well-being of a small
community of students who were in need of well implemented boundaries
for social behaviour and educational expectations.


What did you observe non-teaching staff doing to support teaching and
learning in the school?

The Education Assistants at the school supported teaching staff in various
classrooms over the week where needed. The needs of students were
diverse however there were minimal students with special needs which
meant Education Assistants were often in different class rooms over the
course of the week assisting different students.






Students

You will have observed the diverse nature of your classes. How was
this diversity supported?

The class teacher supported the diversity which existed in the classroom by
conveying clear expectations to the students, implementing effective
classroom behaviour systems which incorporated both positive
reinforcement and clear guidelines for negative behaviour. The class was a
split Year 3/ 4 class where the students educational needs were met by way
of the teacher ensuring that the students were taught at various levels and
that the subsequent worksheets were adapted to each level with extension
tasks included for students working at a higher level.


Function of Schools

Did you observe the connection of your school with the broader
community? How did this happen?

The school connected with parents by making them feel comfortable
speaking to staff at the school regarding their child/children. The mentor
teacher explained to me that often the parents had had negative involvement
with schools as children themselves which made them reluctant to approach
teachers regarding their own child/children. The school endeavoured to
ensure the school environment had a relaxed and accommodating
atmosphere where the parents felt they could approach the teachers and have
informal discussions about the progress or concerns about their
child/children. In the broader sense of community I did not observe any
connection.


What do you think the function of school is?

The function of school is to provide students with a nurturing educational
environment that is rich with academic and social experiences so that they
may become valuable members of an adult society.