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Towson University

Student Teacher Observation Feedback


Summary Comments Based on the Danielson Framework
Garrett Maternick
February 17, 2016
Holabird STEM Academy
4th Grade 22 Students 2-3 PM
Planning and Preparation
This lesson was planned to lead students to an understanding that fingerprinting can be used as a
method of identification. The lesson included power point directions, short video, a reading,
experimentation with fingerprints, and group analysis. Included on the board was also a PBIS
objective related to the use of positive language.
Commendations:
The lesson was appropriate for the age level of the students and was aligned with
standards. This lesson built upon a previous lesson about a lemonade stand
chromatography lesson. The lesson was scaffolded to lead students from an introduction
to an understanding of fingerprinting.
The materials for the lesson were readily available and supported the objective.
Suggestions:
As you plan, backward map the lesson so that you build into the plan quality time at the
end of the lesson for a summary. Include pre-reading strategies for the class especially for
those students who have IEPs
Provide in the plan those two or three key questions on which you want students to focus.
Include in the plan careful modeling of student activities. For example, it was not clear to
students that they should gently roll their fingers rather than press really hard on the
paper. Including enlarged examples on the screen would help student understanding.
Think about using the document camera as a tool to show student work (fingerprints).
Classroom Environment
This is a standard 4th grade class with some attention/motivation issues and it is at the end of the
day. The key to a successful lesson is structure and building student-teacher relationships. Given
the recent weather issues, you are just beginning to work with these students.
Commendations:
You already have built a bond with these students. They refer to you as Mr. G and were
not in the least intimated by you.
Students were excited by the activity and wanted to work for you. You can capitalize on
this excitement in a structured fashion so students dont get off-task.
Suggestions:
Create a strong, positive classroom management plan which includes rewards,
consequences, and a meaningful quiet/attention signal. Students need to know exactly
what is expected of them as they enter and during the class. One simple way to show
positive performance is to use a stamp which you can stamp next to student work as you

circulate. Stand your ground on classroom management, but do it in a positive way which
conveys your support for each student.
A meaningful quiet signal can be as simple as saying I need your attention and wait 3-5
seconds; or, a sound, and then wait. You introduced the harmonica as an attention signal
but realized that this did not work well. It is really what works for you but its success
depends on practicing it with the students. Google quiet/attention signals for elementary
school students will give you numerous suggestions. If you can use the I need your
attention signal and make it work 90% of the time, it will fit your personality and show
trust from your students.
Instruction (Delivery)
Quality instruction (80%) is really a reflection of a well thought-out and developed lesson plan.

Commendations:
Your initial comment to the class was Who is ready to do science today? Students were
excited to get started.
You circulated to help students as the class progressed. (If you keep getting the same
questions at each group, it can be a sign that the directions were not clear.)
Suggestions:
After a student reads the objective, have another student rephrase the objective and tell
the rest of the class what they are going to learn. This helps focus students.
With directions, it is important to ensure that students understand them. Get students to
repeat the directions for full understanding. Often it helps to give one direction at a time
so that everyone follows and is at the same point. You can develop and post on the screen
a standard format as students enter when you are going to do a lab. You could call this an
action drill (clear off your table, get out a pencil, get quiet, raise your hand when ready,
etc.).
Carefully monitor your pacing. As soon as students complete their activity, they tend to
get into off-task behavior. As you design your lesson, think about providing an extension
for students who finish first. This can take the form of an application of the immediate
learning.
Before you move on to a summary or exit ticket, have all of the materials collected. This
keeps the students from being distracted and playing with the equipment.
Consider how to keep students from calling out or from you calling on the same students
every time. One way is to use cold call in which you dont ask for volunteers to answer
but ask a student directly (Charles, can you explain to the class).
Summary
This 4th grade class is both a challenge as well as a wonderful learning ground for you. They
offer habits which prevent them from full understanding and an excitement for learning. This is a
tough dichotomy. You are well on your way to developing the skills to master instruction in this
class. Your mentor, Mrs. Craver, is an excellent teacher and role model. Rely upon her advice
and you will be successful.