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Template for debriefing the teacher after the observation

(You may have already found some of the answers yourself.)

Class Reading about corn production in US and food consumption

1. What was the class composition (specifically, how many exceptional, special need and

English learners?)

The class is composed of 28 students with nearly an equal divide between male and

female. Out of my twenty-eight students, four of them are English Language Learners

(ELL), three have special needs, and while I do not have any “gifted” students, two of

them are academically exceptional within the class.

2. Did any students cause any concern for you? Why?

I have a few students that regularly create additional obstacles in the classroom; so yes, I

would say that about four of my students were on my radar to par extra attention to. One

of my students with a special need has been diagnosed with ADHD and some days are

worse than others. Like today, he blurts often, sits and refuses to work, talks back when

instructed to stay on task, and wants to wander around the room to avoid completing

work. I also have a few students who enjoy socializing a great deal. Two of them are able

to complete their work whilst talking, but they distract others from working. And my last

student of concern enjoys talking, but is not capable of staying on task. Even when she is

separated from her peers, she somehow manages to talk with someone and avoids

completing any work. I fear that these students will either fall behind themselves or cause

their peers to fall behind in the class/school years to come.

3. What were the lesson’s goal and objectives?

The lesson’s goals and objective are connected within this unit. Students will begin

reading articles and doing research on corn production in the United States. Students will
then learn how to read food labels to identify healthy eating habits and begin determining

their food choices based on the label, rather than fads/promotional techniques.

4. Why did you structure this plan as you did?

This is my third year teaching this unit to my students, so I made certain modifications to

make it more exciting and relevant to my students. I begin by having the students create a

list of a few of their favorite foods, some that they make at home and some food items

they get prepackaged from the store. I have the students bring in recipes and food labels

and then we make a class chart while we discuss the common ingredients in most foods.

Students then are able to share a little about their cultures, get a visual of the information,

and begin understanding the overall point of this unit. Then we begin our study on corn

production in the US, we have classroom discussion on how this applies to our lives. We

discuss concepts like farmers and what they feed their cattle, how this compares to other

countries, what corn does to our body, and how cheap it is in comparison to other crops.

Students then begin to annotate the articles, do research and draw conclusions based on

their findings. Students then write a researched paper and present them to the class. Once

completing this, we take a field trip to a grocery store, and students are to “shop” for food

items, compare them to their list, and write a reflection on the differences and why.

Students then will be encouraged to create a visual of their choice and present it to the

class. Today, you saw the class discuss the lists the students created and observed how

we collaborated to make connections and note differences among the various foods. If

you can, you should come back at the end of the unit to see how the mindset changes

with these students. That is always my favorite part! Student make the greatest

connections sometimes that even I lack to see and I love learning from them!
5. What are your favorite instructional methods and strategies?

My favorite instructional methods are classroom discussions and self-reflection

assignments at the end of a lesson. With classroom discussion we allow students to share

their thoughts and ideas with the class, learn to respectfully challenge different

perspectives, and gain perspective from various point-of-views. Reflections are so

important because they give the students a chance to grow and understand their growth, it

also allows them to make connections that they otherwise wouldn’t have. They are also

so fun for the educator see and hear!

6. Were all students engaged sufficiently?

For the most part! This is part of the name of the game, all students will never be as

engaged as we want them to be, but we must work with what we have. I was pleased with

most of my students, which is a win in itself, but even then, only two of my “concern

students” created additional obstacles.

7. Do you believe you achieved the lesson’s goal and objectives?

For what we have completed thus far, I believe that we are achieving the goals and

objective. We have about two and a half more weeks of this unit, so it is hard to say for

sure quite yet.

8. Are you satisfied with students’ work in the lesson? If not, why?

So far, yes. I am excited to see how the rest of the unit goes, in the past, students typically

enjoy this lesson.

9. What interfered with an effective lesson procedure?

Side conversations and blurting always interfere with the lesson procedure. This typically

slows down the lesson, but I try to always consider that when creating a running
schedule. Side conversations and blurting easily get the class off topic and rowdy and

sometimes it gets difficult to reel the students back in.

10. What techniques do you believe are most instrumental for classroom management?

In my classroom, the most instrumental for classroom management is natural

consequences and student-led reflection slips. These techniques allow for students to feel

free to make their own decisions while understanding the reality of natural consequences

and how they arise in the world. Students know what is appropriate behavior and are

encouraged to reflect on their actions when they behave inappropriately. I believe this is

the best way to prepare students for their futures and have them feel respected as a citizen

in my classroom.

11. Could you improve your learning plan based on the lesson reflection? How?

Definitely yes, like I told you before, there is always room for improvement and we

should never stop analyzing our approach. Because we are not deep into this unit yet, I

don’t have many notes made yet, but thus far, I think I will instruct students to create

their list of food over the weekend before the unit begins, this way we will have more

time for discussion and research in the classroom.