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Department of Teacher Education & Learning Sciences

Elementary Education Program

Formal Observation Reflection


Directions: Complete the reflection questions and submit your response to your observer prior to having a post-
conference to discuss the observation. If a conference is held immediately after the observation you will submit
your responses to the observer the following day via email.

Name: Madison Weidner Date: April 9, 2017


1. To what extent were learning outcomes appropriate and achievable to your students?
My first learning outcome was that students would compare and contrast two texts using
specific details from the text. This was appropriate because I read aloud two stories about the
same topic, gender stereotypes. The characters both had interests that went against their
gender norm. This outcome was achievable because I taught them how to compare and
contrasts the two texts with a Venn diagram through the gradual release of responsibility
model. This gave students the opportunity to see me model how to use the Venn diagram to
find a comparison and a contrast that was unique to each text. Then, students were able to
find some comparisons and contrasts together as a class for practice. Lastly, students were
able to practice this skill on their own independently.
My second learning outcome was that students would determine the common overall topic of
two texts using specific details from the text. This was appropriate because students were
able to see that both stories were about gender stereotypes after comparing and contrasting
the two texts. Students were able to achieve this outcome when I facilitated a closing
discussion with them about gender stereotypes and how each character confronted them.
2. How effective were your instructional strategies? What changes would you make in
your instructional approaches if you taught this lesson again? Why?
I believe that utilizing the gradual release of responsibility was effective when teaching
students how to find comparisons or contrasts when referring to the text. Students seem to
have clearly understood what was expected of them throughout the lesson. However, I
believe that I should have done fewer examples together as a class during the We do
because students were having trouble finding additional examples on their own during the
You do. Additionally, I believe that I should have used positive reinforcement more often
throughout the lesson rather than specifically calling on students. I believe this would have
been more effective and would have caused less embarrassment.
3. Evaluate the effectiveness of your oral and written communication with students.
(Consider how well you communicated learning objectives, clarity of directions, use of standard English, quality of
questions and effectiveness of discussion techniques.)

I think I clarified the learning objectives well because I clearly stated them at the beginning of
the lesson. Additionally, I discussed how what they were to be learning that day related to
developing and utilizing a model in reading. I believe that I provided clear instructions
throughout the lesson, especially when scaffolding students to think of a definition about
stereotypes using their prior knowledge.
My biggest regret in my lesson was that I initially tried to get students to think of an interest or
hobby that is the norm of the opposite gender they identify as during the extension activity.
However, the focus of this lesson was for students to understand that they can have whatever
interest they want or participate in any hobby, regardless if it fell under the stereotype of their
gender identity. I wanted them to feel compelled to be proud of what makes them special
because of their unique interests. Once I realized that I made this mistake, I made an
announcement to the whole class that they can write about any activity just as long as they
are talking about something that they are proud about liking regardless of the stereotypes
that exist.
Lastly, I believe that I was able to produce effective questioning that helped them reach the
conclusions that I wanted them to reach. For example, some students were stuck on the fact
that Oliver was doing girly activities because he wanted to be a girl. However, because of
my questioning, I helped them reach the conclusion that it is not because he wanted to be a
girl. He just enjoys doing those activities as a boy. I continued to use specific questioning
throughout the lesson to help students think deeper about their own answer.
4. Evaluate the level of student engagement in your lesson . (Consider how you presented the
content/skills, the activities and assignments for students, grouping of students, and structure and pacing of the
lesson.)

Prior to teaching the lesson, I was really nervous about if students would be engaged
in this lesson because we were talking about gender stereotypes. However, I was
really surprised by how excited the students were to share their personal experiences
and ideas throughout the lesson. I was nervous that they may not have had
experiences with stereotypes, but they had. When brainstorming gender stereotype
examples, they kept on saying that is true for all boys or that is not true! We would
then point out these comments and point out that not everyone has the same interests.
Students were getting so excited, that I had to pause a couple times to recognize their
excitement but to redirect their attention to the point of the lesson.
Students sat on the carpet together as a class so they could easily participate in a turn
and talk at the beginning of the lesson. I believe that I paced my lesson just enough so
students would stay engaged. It was not too long where students would begin to lose
interest, but it was long enough so students would be able to effectively compare and
contrast two texts.
5. How effectively did you use instructional materials, resources, and/or technology?
I used the SmartBoard to display the Venn diagram that we filled out as a class. I had the
SmartBoard connected to the computer so I could easily type in student responses to
avoid extra time being taken to hand write their responses. I displayed a T-Chart on an
easel to record students examples of gender stereotypes. I read aloud Amazing Grace by
Mary Hoffman and Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie dePaola to the students so they
would have two stories to compare and contrast.
6. To what extent were your assessment strategies effective? What changes would you
make in your assessment approach if you taught this lesson again? Why?
Listening to students ideas throughout the lesson really helped me to understand who
understood how the two texts were similar or different. However, I had not thought of a way to
record who shared ideas during the lesson and who did not. Even though I tried to call on
everyone, it was hard to know if everyone understood how the two texts related to each other
and how they compare. If I were to teach this lesson again, I would have a checklist prepared
prior to teaching so I could quickly check off who participated and what part of the outcome
they reached. Additionally, I had students provide one more comparison and one contrast for
each of the two stories during the you do that were not already on the class Venn diagram.
However, I realized that because we already did a lot of examples together as a class, that
students had trouble finding another comparison or contrast. If I were to teach this lesson
again, I would either do fewer examples together as a class or have students read a third
book about the same topic. After reading this third book, they could compare and contrast
one of the books we read together as a class with the third book they read. This way, I could
see if students could compare and contrasts the two texts completely independently.
7. To what extent was your feedback to students accurate, substantive, constructive,
specific, and/or timely?
If students provided an answer that was not quite correct, I would make sure to not
immediately shut the student down. I would first provide praise or say why I can see that they
thought that idea, then ask them another question to help them think deeper. If they seemed
to be stuck, then I would call on another student to help them out or would make sure to
come back to that same student after giving them some time to think. Additionally, if students
had an alternate idea of what occurred in a story, I would refer to the text to remind them of
what actually occurred.
8. To what extent did the classroom management and environment contribute to student
learning? (Consider your classroom procedures, your use of physical space, and the students conduct.)
For the majority of the lesson, students sat together on the front carpet. This way when
necessary, students were able to turn and talk to a partner easily. Additionally, it built a
positive classroom environment because students were able to listen to their peers ideas.
I used sticks to call on students to make sure everyone received an equal chance to
share. If I noticed that students were off tasks, I would quickly address the situation then
move on to the lesson. I would also try to use positive reinforcement by saying I like how
Student A is sitting nicely raising their hand so I will call on them. However, I did not
utilize positive reinforcement as much as I had wanted to. Utilizing positive reinforcement
is something that I think I need to work on in future lessons.
9. Did you make modifications to your lesson plan during the lesson? If so, what were
they and what motivated these changes?
As I read Amazing Grace, I paused to explain who some of the people were in other
literatures or in history that Grace was dressing up as. Originally, I had planned to do this
while asking questions. However, in the moment, it made more sense to provide the students
with background knowledge as I read. Additionally, I slightly changed the comparison and
contrasts that I was going to record on the Venn diagram during the I do. Instead of writing
characters were criticized, I wrote main characters were teased. At the time, it made more
sense to use this simple language to help student connect my lesson to Hannahs lesson on
bullying. I also did not write down gender stereotypes as a similarity during the I do
because it was already heavily discussed that both stories concerned gender stereotypes.
Lastly, I had students relate the importance of the topic of a text when finding the main idea,
forcing them to think back to previous lessons with my mentor teacher.
10. Was your Teaching Behavior Focus goal met?
I believe that my Teaching Behavior Focus of building a classroom climate was met. I chose
to have students sit together on the carpet so they can easily hear each others ideas and
participate in student discourse. Additionally, I feel that students respected each other when
others had ideas to share or they discussed how they have interests that may be
stereotypical of the opposite gender they identify as. Students were provided an abundance
of time to share their own experiences when discussing examples of gender stereotypes and
ideas when filling out the Venn diagram. I believe that I demonstrated withitness by keeping
the lesson moving while recognizing off task behavior. Even though I did demonstrate some
positive reinforcement throughout my lesson, I believe that this is one area on building a
classroom climate that I need to work on. I believe it would be more beneficial to recognize
the students who are on task rather than to constantly criticize those that are not.