Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Unannounced observation - Anil's 11B classrrom

With the professional development workshops over, I stopped in, unannounced in Anil's classroom.  I was interested in seeing, which instructional strategies he'd incorporated into his lesson.

All of the students were on task, actively engaged in the lesson.  This is always a good sign, especially at the beginning of the period.

The students were busy completing the "Starter Activity" (bellwork) as I entered.

Building on the workshops, Anil had incorporated a "Starter Activity" which was a review of the vocabulary words from a reading comprehension assignment he'd done with students the previous day.  This review too, was straight out of the professional development workshops.

In the upper right hand corner of the whiteboard.... the Learning Objective for the lesson was written.  During the lesson, Anil drew the student's attention to this Learning Objective...... specifically noting that the first part involved reading comprehension and the second part, answering the questions related to the text.

In today's lesson, Anil wanted to assess his student's reading comprehension abilities, and as such did not provide the direct instruction he might use, based on this diagnostic assessment.

Anil read the passage on lions in Kenya to the whole class, then gave them time to answer the questions on the back of the handout.  The questions follow Blooms Taxonomy of higher order reasoning.  Anil wanted to see how far, beyond basic knowledge and recall the students could go on their own.  Specifically he wanted to assess their analytical abilities through the answers to the questions.

Following the lesson, Anil and I had a chance to reflect on his student's reading comprehension skills.  When he first gave the handout to his students, they followed their typical pattern of immediately turning it over to start answering the questions.... before even reading the text.

We discussed the point that he may want to spend a few weeks, retraining his students in how to start a reading comprehension activity.  That reading comprehension comes before answering the questions.... and that the structured activities we discussed in the workshops might be a way to achieve this.

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