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TESOL Certificate Programs

Observation Notebook

Observation Report Form

Name of Observer___Ying Liu_______ Observation #


____1___
Date Observation Environment* Class Skill/ Level Teacher
Content
Febrary https://www.youtube.com/ Adult Writing Higher Tanya
4, 2017 watch?v=aQusQWPjdMo students paragraph Intermediat Conover
e

*Include the URL if the class was online

WRITE THE OBJECTIVES ACCORDING TO THE OBSERVATION GUIDELINES:

STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY TOPIC SENTENCE, SUPPORTING DETAILS AND


CLOSING SENTENCE; STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO MATCH SUPPORTING DETAILS TO TOPIC
SENTENCE; STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO DISTINGUISH THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN TOPIC
SENTENCE AND CLOSING SENTENCE; STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO COMPLETE EACH
ACTIVITY WITHOUT MISTAKES; STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO PRODUCE A HAMBURGER
PARAGRAPH.

Notes while observing:

00: 50 T briefly mentions that they did a lot of talking and practice on writing. And they
are going to continue to do that today. The other day, they did brainstorm. What is
writing?
00:50 - 9:14 T leads Ss to review what they learnt last class by putting a piece of yellow
paper on the board with the listed different definitions of writing on it. The listed items
are: What is the writing? - a way to say something; - a way to save something; - a code
with symbols; - communication and expression; - gives ideas and information; - lets you
talk over time to the past and to the future; - uses instruments or tools like pencils,
paper, computer, etc. - writing is something you do; - writing gives you a voice; -
writing gives you power. T reads each item and then, elicits answers from Ss. After

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TESOL Certificate Programs
Observation Notebook
eliciting each answer from Ss, T would explain, clarify it and make it easier to
understand.
9:14 - 9:59 T leads Ss to think that if they have writing or an idea, or scattered
everything, is that writing powerful? Ss answer no. T says not necessarily. T asks,
What do ideas need to be stronger? S gives free answers. Then T says that writing
needs an organization. After that, T put this to the end of the writing list, and explains
that needs details.
9:59 - 11:38 T shows Ss a piece of paper with drawings and words. The paper is divided
into three columns. The left column is written Ideas are formed matched with a
drawing of acorn; the middle column Getting Ideas with a group of four people sitting
around the table with a sun on the top; the right column Prewriting - First, the writer
thinks of important ideas, thoughts and feelings that he or she wants to share. T
explains each column patiently. After that, T shows another piece of paper with the same
three columns. The left column is written Ideas sprout matched with a drawing of a
plant sprouting; the middle column Expressing Ideas matched a drawing of a student
writing; the right column Drafting- Next, those ideas begin to grow and deepen as the
writer creates a rough draft of what he or she wants to say. T explains each column
patiently. Ss, at the same time, look at their papers on their hands.
11:38 - 14:27 T puts a picture of hamburger on the board and tells Ss that she has a fun
way to teach them how to organize their thoughts on the paper. The fun way is
hamburger.

Ss laugh. T asks Ss, who do you really love hamburger? Ss all laughs and raise their
hands. Then T points to the hamburger and tell Ss to look at it and analyze the different
parts of it. T elicits answers from Ss by asking what the different parts are, and T writes
down the name of the different layers of the hamburger. After that, T asks Ss if they could
add mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, or pickle. Ss answer yes. T asks how about cookies.
The whole class says no. T asks them why not. Ss have many different answers. Then T
says because cookie does not belong to hamburger and shows Ss the picture of cookie. T
continues to show Ss a picture of spaghetti and asks them if it could be added to
hamburger. Ss answer no because it does not belong. T continues to show Ss pictures of

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TESOL Certificate Programs
Observation Notebook
fruits and bacon. Ss say no. T summarizes that something belongs to hamburger, and
something does not because it is not what the hamburger is.
14:27- 16:30 T switches to show Ss the next picture of hamburger paragraphs and tells Ss
how hamburger will help them to remember to organize their writing. T asks Ss to look at
their handout about hamburger paragraph. Then T started to read. After reading each
short part, T elicits answers from Ss by asking questions and summarizes each of them. T
points the picture of hamburger on the board, and says if the bottom bun was taken off,
what would happen? Ss show a strange facial expression. T continues to ask if the top
bun was taken off, or meat or lettuce or tomatoes or onions taken out, what would
happen? Ss actively participate into the questions. T says it is not going to be good.
Hamburger has a certain part to make it delicious. In the same way, all the sentences of
the paragraph are important.
16:30 - 19:35 T switches to next paper and explains that the top bun is the topic sentence
with fingers pointing to the top bun of the picture hamburger on the board. T says topic
sentence tells your reader what the paragraph is about and usually but not always, the
topic comes in the beginning. Then T checks Ss understanding by pointing to the picture
again and asks them what the topic sentence is. After that, T writes down topic
sentence beside the top bun. T continues to point the middle part of the hamburger and
said that part is called supporting details. T asks Ss what the supporting details are
and emphasizes supporting. T said supporting details are holding up the hamburger,
stick to the topic sentence. With that, T checks Ss understanding by pointing to the
picture of hamburger and writes down supporting details with the whole class
watching carefully. Next, T continues to explain that the last part is called concluding
sentence. Without the bottom bun of hamburger, the hamburger would fall apart. T asks
Ss to pay attention to the top bun and bottom bun, both of which are made of bread and
similar but not the same.
19:35 - 24:30 T has Ss do some activities to reinforce the knowledge. T asks Ss to take up
the blue strips on their desk and organize those strips into topic sentence, supporting
details and concluding sentence order. While Ss are working on the strips as a pair or
group, T monitors the class and gives feedback to the pairs or groups. T designates a
special pair of students who work on the big piece of paper and has them show their
answer to the whole class by putting on the board. T asks Ss to check all of their answers
and say if they agree with this special pairs answer or not. T asks one student of the
special pair to read his topic sentence and asks Ss if they agree or not. Then T asks
another student of the special pair to read the supporting details and asks Ss if they agree
or not. Take turns, the first student continues to read the concluding sentence and T asks
Ss if they agree or not. T compliments Ss and says, Its a great job! Jobs well done!
24:30 - 29:13 T gives directions on the next activity to Ss. T says that she has three
paragraphs inside of the envelop. The paragraph was written by an intermediate -
through -advanced ESOL student like Ss in the class. T cuts the paragraph up to pieces
and has Ss put them up together. T asks Ss to answer which sentence is topic sentence,

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TESOL Certificate Programs
Observation Notebook
supporting details and closing sentence. Here is a catch: T adds a sentence which does
not stick to the paragraph like putting spaghetti or cookie into the hamburger. T has Ss
figure out which sentence does not belong to the paragraph. Ss are put into groups to
work it out. T monitors and gives feedback. Each group read out their organized
paragraph. After they are done, T compliments them to have done a good job.
29:13 - 31:12 T asks a volunteer of Ss to read the printed out paragraph put on their
desk. While the volunteer is reading each sentence and pause, the other Ss point out what
this is, topic sentence, or supporting detail, or closing sentence, or does not belong to the
paragraph. T summarizes Sss work by comparing the paragraph to the picture of
hamburger on the board. Then T compliments Ss to have done a good job.
31:12 - 34:19 T has Ss work on paragraph two called How to Improve My English as a
class. T asks Ss to read the paragraph and find out the topic sentence, supporting details
and concluding sentence. T continues to ask which sentence does not stick to the topic
and explains the reason why it does not stick to the paragraph.
34:19 - 45:37 T has Ss do one more exercise as group of two or three. T has Ss take turn
to read each paragraph and identify the topic sentence, supporting details and closing
sentence. T also says she put a sentence into the paragraph which maybe stick to the
paragraph or maybe not and has Ss identify it also. T asks Ss think about what they like
most about the paragraphs while Ss are reading. While Ss are doing, T monitors and
gives feedback to individual student. After that, T asks individual student to answer those
questions, and reinforces the paragraph structure by emphasizing the picture of
hamburger on the board.
45:37 - 49:43 T switches to the next activity: to construct the hamburger. T asks six
students to stand in the front of the classroom and gives direction that one student will
read the paragraph as a teacher, with the other five students holding a long piece of
sheet. When the student teacher reads each sentence, she will ask the students sitting to
judge that sentence read out is topic sentence, or supporting details, or closing sentence.
Ss can look at their handout with the same words there. If Ss sitting say topic sentence,
then one of Ss holding that sentence will stick to the board. So, after the activity is done,
T asks one of Ss standing in front of the classroom to read the whole hamburger
paragraph stuck to the board. T compliments them to have done a good job.
49:43 - 58:11 T puts a big piece of yellow paper on the board with the beginning sentence
In the USA it is important to express your voice. She has Ss tell her why it is important
to express your voice in the USA. Then T writes down Ss answers on the yellow paper on
the board. T keeps eliciting answers from Ss and the paragraph goes like this: In the USA
it is important to express our voice. When we express our ideas people can know our
needs. In this country freedom of expression is a right. In this country every persons idea
is valuable. T asks Ss to think about the closing sentence which is similar to the topic
sentence, but not just to repeat, instead, to summarize what you said. T writes down one
students answer as a closing sentence. It is like this: I am happy to live in a country

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TESOL Certificate Programs
Observation Notebook
where we have freedom of speech. After that, T asks one student to read the whole
paragraph to the class. Ss give a warm round of applause.
58:11- 1:01:15 Wrap up. T says that this is the en of the lesson. Before Ss go, T wants Ss
to tell her one more time why writing is so important to them. Ss are active to express
their own ideas. T says,If I say something which I cant take it back, but when you are
writing, you can have time to rethink, or have something you dont like it, you can erase
it. You can really take your time to work through, make something you really want to say,
thats exactly what you want to say, that is the perfect way of the end of our class today.
We take the writing to our process. Starting the ideas, organizing the ideas, sharing those
ideas, getting some feedback, and finally the goal for the class is to complete, finish and
publish our finished product, and we can speak to the future, to our community. All right,
thanks, class. Class ends.

What did you learn about teaching or learning from this lesson as it relates to the
theory you have studied in your TESOL classes? Include at least one reference (with
an in-text citation) to support your response. (250-500 words)
In this observation, I focused on the lesson, especially the lesson plan. This is an
hamburger paragraph writing skill development for the ESOL class, higher intermediate
students, who were mostly from Mexico, some from middle-east countries, and some
from Africa. I want to observe how the teacher helped this group of culturally different
students to master the writing skill.
According to the lesson plan format, the teacher seemed to follow the PPP model, and I
learned how effective this could be to help the students to achieve the goal in a writing
lesson. . Teacher wanted the students to be able to identify the top sentence,
supporting details and closing sentence, so she started by putting a big picture of
hamburger to the board to present the model writing, creating a very similar structure to
writing and explaining which ingredients stick to the hamburger and which does not stick
to the hamburger. This avoided the mistakes the students could make in writing
paragraphs. This is really helpful for the students to connect the writing skill to their life
experience because just as Diane Larsen-Freeman said, meaning is made clear by
focusing the students perceptions. (2016 p.64) Hamburger paragraph writing is used as
a perfect model for accuracy.
Later, in the phase of practice activity, the teacher puts students into pair work, group
work, and work as a class. I noticed that each activity the students were given different
tasks. From identifying and matching topic sentence, supporting details and closing
sentence to identifying irrelevant part which did not belong to the paragraph to producing
a whole completed paragraph without mistakes. The teacher monitored and gave
feedbacks to the students while they were practicing, and after that, she corrected or

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TESOL Certificate Programs
Observation Notebook
summarized as a class. She strictly followed the six simple steps: give direction,
modeling, checking, give time, monitor and give feedback, and correct as class.

Finally, I learned that by planning this hamburger writing skill followed with PPP model
was able to help the students to prepare for all different kinds of paragraph writing both
in classroom and outside of classroom. I observed that the more time the students spent in
practicing writing exercises, the more confidence they gained for their writing to the
future.
References
Larsen-Freeman, D. & Anderson, M. (2016). Techniques & Principles in Language
Teaching. UK: Oxford university press.

Conover, T. (2010). Observing Standards-in-Action: ESL Classroom Lesson. Retrieved


from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQusQWPjdMo

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