TSL3109 MANAGING THE PRIMARY ESL

CLASSROOM
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MUHAMMAD SYAUQI BIN ZAMRY

CLASSROOM OBSERVATION REPORT
Date : 9
th
April 2014
Day : Wednesday
Theme : Unit 6: Care for the Sea
Class : 4 Arif
Duration : 60 minutes
Number of pupils : 34 pupils
Classroom management theories have been use by teachers around the globe to
upkeep their own beliefs of educational teaching style that they will embraces
throughout their teaching career. Nevertheless, each of the classroom management
theory seem and have been proven by educational and society critics on their edge and
flaws. As the common consensus by each and every single one educational philosopher
whom proposed and introduced their own theory, teacher will only achieved a smooth
running classroom where learning could actually take place when the teacher
themselves are able to have an effective classroom management. In order to have an
effective classroom, teacher must be able to foreseeing and preventing problems,
facilitating appropriates behaviors and addressing the misconduct as required. This is
exactly as said by William Arthur Ward in his inspirational quotes for teacher in which he
said, “the mediocre teacher tells, the good teacher explains, the superior teacher
demonstrate, the great teacher inspires”. Now isn‟t it beautiful.
Gootman in his study (2008) stated that „rules give students a concrete direction to
ensure that our expectation becomes a reality‟. This view is indeed in line with Canters
assertive discipline where the first approach to have an effective classroom is to have a
set of rules for class behaviors. Both views disclosed to us that an effective classroom
closedly linked to its management which is done by the teacher. Gootman (2008) also
noted that pupils issues like motivation, discipline and respect are interrelated within a
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context. The context in this case means the classroom. These quotes and ideas
indicate to us the truth about a good classroom management. A good classroom
management does not only shape and determines pupil‟s behavior throughout the
lesson but also create the perfect environment that will promote effective teaching and
learning outcomes. Hey! After all, a teacher deserves to teach without disruption and
pupils have the right to learn in a clam and orderly classroom. (Canter 1976).
To complete this task, I have asked the permission from my practicum school‟s English
Head Panitia to observe her lesson. Her name is Adzalina binti Mohamad. She has
ample experience dealing with the needs and misbehaviors among primary school
pupils. The lesson took place in class 4 Arif for duration of 60 minutes. The focused
skills of the lesson focuses on Language Arts for Unit 6: Care for the Sea. The class
consists of 34 pupils and all of them are Malays which their native language is Bahasa
Melayu. They treat English as a foreign language. So, it is imperative for any teachers
to teach the lesson primarily in English.
Teacher Adzalina use a PowerPoint presentation, a song, drawing block and pencil
colours as her teaching aids for this lesson. She undoubtedly made the full use of them
during her class. By then of the lesson, pupils are able to produce their own „Shape
Song‟ with the theme of sea creatures. This so called shape song is an adaptation of
the shape poem technique. The only different is that the pupils are producing song and
not poems. The selection of sea creatures as the theme for the shape song certainly
suits the topics being taught on that day.
As per any ordinary classroom in national school context started with greeting by
teacher and the recital of prayers for god bless. It is norms that instill good moral values
on the pupils influenced by the Islamic teaching. Then the real lesson started with
teacher Adzalina asking a few question pertaining to the topic. She asked question to
her pupils as for example; “Do you like to go to the sea” and “What kind of activities can
we do at the sea”. These questions were used to arouse the pupil‟s attention and
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interest toward the lesson. This set of induction stage in vital as it prepared the pupils
mentally for the topic of the day.
As a teacher, she plays a various roles in the classroom but rest can be assured that
apart from being the knowledge disseminator she also acted as the classroom
manager. She has prior to the lesson asked and arranged the problematic pupils to be
seated beside the pupils with good behavioral attitude. This might be seems as
something unnecessary but upon taking a closer look to the modern Classroom
discipline theories I found out that she has covertly applied the group behavior theory by
Fritz Redl and William Wattenberg (1951). She purposely arranged the class in such an
arrangement to break the misbehaviors group dynamic in the class. This would disable
those misbehave pupils from paying with each other in class thus preventing them from
interrupting the lesson. By doing so she actually allows herself more spaces and time to
concentrate on the lesson rather than being interrupted by misbehaviors conduct by her
pupils.
Apart from that, I have come to noticed that some routine were being applied during the
lesson such as hand gesture to signal certain class rules or classroom procedure. More
importantly, it expresses to the class what is to be expected from them. She tapped her
hand twice to indicate “attention” where the class will stop doing exercise and turn their
attention to her. This unique yet popular approach helps her to elicit her objectivity and
managing the classroom. Hardin (2008) stated that “the ultimate goal of having a
classroom management is not to be based on simple obedience, but on having pupils to
behave themselves appropriately because they have the knowledge in their stigmata
and they behave in accordance to the agreed common sense”.
A renowned behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner (1954) suggests that shaping
behavior is accomplished through successive approximation. Successive approximation
is a condition where a behavior is reinforced as it comes closer and closer to a pre-set
goal. Though teacher Adzalina never really use reinforcement in term of rearding her
pupils who behave accordingly, she however use and easier method of teaching her
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pupils on how they should and should not behave in the classroom. She simply tell them
verbally or as I mentioned earlier used gesture such as tapping her hand twice to get
the classroom attention and moving her one finger to the mouth to signal be quite
please.
I asked her the question on how exactly she could actually manage her classroom in
that particular manner. She stressed out the important to make the pupils feels belong
and have they voice listened upon chartering a set of classroom rules. She said it bind
them to the agreed upon rules those preventing or at least minimized the probability of
them to act in a disruptive manner. Somehow it ring the bell in my mind of the ideas
proposed by Dreikurs. He in 1972 stated that all human have a powerful inborn need for
belonging. Whenever they fall short of fulfilling the genuine goals they turn by default to
certain mistaken goals such as attention seeking, power seeking, revenge seeking and
withdrawal. Her decision to involves her pupils in setting up the classroom rules make
the pupils feel that they belong here in that class and learn in a democratic classroom.
Despite all of the above master class ability to manage her classroom excellently, I
personally noted that there are still room for improvements that can be made in order to
make the lesson more interesting. There are still a lot of repetition and drilling being
done in the class. To be specific the presentation stage and the practice stage were
conducted with the very same activity. Kounin 1972 stated that momentum and
smoothness in the delivery of the lesson are important factors to prevent misbehaviors
in the classroom. While I agreed that it is important to have the continuity and drilling to
make the pupils comprehend the lesson better, the introduction of a new activity would
certainly spur the class with new enthusiasm and keep their interest toward the lesson
running.
Communication and questioning techniques are two inter-related aspects which she has
mastered to enable her to present the lesson efficiently. For me, questioning could be
the backbone of having an effective presentation. Using the correct question on the
correct and relating situation improve the range of communication with pupils. The
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pupils also gained a lot as they could gain much information exchance through effective
communication.
I have also noticed that they lesson though follow a kssr syllabus but is still very much
teacher oriented. The only stages where pupils play an active role is during the
production stage whereby they were required to produce a shape poems about the sea.
I believed that more opportunity should be allocated to the pupils to express themselves
during the lesson.
Next, some pupils find it hard to work in pairs with friend whom they are not close to.
For me, these typical circumstances existed in any subject lesson. Teacher must
address it pragmatically as we do not want to have problem and at the same times
pupils being left out from the lesson because of their own ignorant.
Therefore I suggest that we teacher should not only applied democratic teaching at all
time, but we must also become pragmatic and should be ready to have assertive
teaching and autocratic classroom whenever the condition requires us to be so. This
would send the right message to the pupils that they should be more discipline and
responsible in their own learning thus held themselves accountable as per stated by
Kounin.
One aspect that I would try my best to emulate is to manage my time necessarily during
all the stages. I found out during my practicum first observation with my lecturer that
sometime a small tweak at any single one out of the five stages could dampen your
objective to get over the lesson in the time provision. I was told and advise by my
lecturer to strictly adhere to the time limit. She said that time management is very
important in order for us teacher to finish up the entire syllabus available in the time
frame.
Another aspect that I realized from this task is that the important of mastering the
questioning techniques. Having a good grasp of questioning technique would permit a
teacher to maintain an effective and discipline classroom management. I noticed that if I
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as teacher straight away ask question for a specific pupil to answer, the rest of the class
would be carefree and tent to lose their focus in the class. As a remedy, I realized that I
should read the questions, give them time to think about the answers and later ask for
volunteer to answers that question. This would keep every pupil on their toes and make
the class management effective. It also means that every single pupil will actually think
about the answer thus enhancing their thinking ability. Now, isn‟t that great.
Prior to this observation I certainly have a very blurred vision and ideas on what makes
a good and effective classroom management. Now, thanks to this task I have good
ideas on how to make my lesson an effective one with a good effective classroom
management control as the best aid in hand. Hopefully I will be able to emulate all the
strength and insight that I have gained from this experienced that harnessing my own
strength to actually build my own classroom management philosophy.