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Observation 4: Subject Matter Observation

Alba Figueroa
Raritan Valley Community College
Associate Professor Kimberly Schirner M, Ed.
April 16, 2019

EDUC 230 Education Field Experience


I. Observation #:
Subject Matter Lesson

II. Grade Level and Subject Area:

Preschool II/ Health

III. Setting:
Classroom type: inclusive, general education; school setting; YMCA preschool
suburban area;1 educator,1 teacher assistant and 19 students present.

IV. Pre- Observation:

Preparing to observe a lesson presented by my cooperating teacher I made sure to
look through what a lesson plan needs while planning it. Especially when you are
teaching a young age group of students their engagement and the way you
introduce the lesson is important. Looking through the lesson plan format it
outlines all of the essential areas needed to present an efficient lesson. From past
experiences I have been observing lessons in which the students were not engaged
because of the strategies that the teachers used in their hook. In younger children
creativity is needed to catch their attention before even starting the lesson.
Teachers I have been able to observe in the past have used clay as a way to
engage them in a lesson to create small fossil images used with plastic dinosaurs’
animals and preserve them as fossils. The theme for that week was dinosaurs so
the way he presented them with the lesson was so creative and it caught the
student’s attention.

V. Data:
Observing the teachers lesson was exciting because I would learn something new
every time, things I did not even know myself. The teacher started her lesson by
talking about “National Walking Day”. That caught the attention of the children
because she promised them to go out after they were done with what she had for
them. The kids were excited and were motivated to listen to what the teacher had
for them. To start her lesson, she asked the children what they thought were
considered “go foods” meaning healthy foods. They started to raise their hands,
some said green beans, fruits, graham crackers, and all vegetables. She then
explained to them how these foods make us feel good and strong throughout the
day. Now she has asked them what “wow foods” are meaning unhealthy foods
are. The children started to raise their hands. Some of their answers were cake,
chips, fattening juices, cookies and candy among many more. My cooperating
teacher then explained to them that eating these foods make us feel tired and slow
because of all the chemicals and bad ingredients added to them. She is now
reading them a story about two characters; one is the healthy eating one and the
other is the nonhealthy eating one. They had two puppets, one of the children
volunteered to hold them up and so she read to them and was able to explain more

what it makes us feel between the two. The children were active listeners through
the whole books. Upon finishing the book, she then had a big paper boards on the
side where she had the questions, “What can you do to be a healthy kid?” Not
only do they need to eat healthy foods but also make sure to keep active
throughout the day. They started to raise their hands and started to list ideas and
every time one of them gave an idea they would get a stamp on their hand. Their
list was eating your fruits, and veggies, run, jump, exercise, ride your bike, swim,
walk, go horseback riding, ice skating or roller skating. After all, had given their
ideas my cooperating teacher than finished her lesson playing some music that
encouraged them to move around like head shoulders knees and toes. We then got
ready to go outside and she was explaining to us how important it was for us to go
outside and go for a walk-through nature. Now that the weather is getting better it
is to our advantage to go on walks or runs. During the lesson the children kept
shouting out but the teacher was able to redirect them by asking them to p lease
raise their hands so that they can get through the lesson faster and go outside.

VI. Analysis:
My cooperating teacher has presented some very organized well taught out
lessons. From the first day I started I have been able to sit for them. She does a
very good job at hooks because she makes sure that the students are looking
forward for what she has for them. Whether it is with moving around first or with
questions she does get them engaged. It can be challenging for some teachers to
be able to think of a good interesting hook to grab kids’ attention. The way my
cooperating teacher asks them questions or reflects upon what had happened the
day before or according to the kind of day it is outside she finds the way to get the
kids going. While she was reading the book to them, she was also making sure
that they were paying attention and would ask them what do you think happens
next? How do you think this made her feel? Having these questions asked to them
between pauses in the book she is able to keep them attentive to what is being
taught to them. It can be that she is reading to them and their listening but for also
those students that are just sitting there that may not be paying close attention, it
encourages them to listen up closely. The teachers lesson wrap up was very good
because she ended with the list of activities and ways they can enjoy and have fun
being healthy. Not only did she have this planned for her but she also had an
actual physical activity for them which was to walk outside through the trails in
the back. While walking through the trail she was explaining and showing them
around and why each thing they were looking at was important. Not only does the
format and deliverance matter in lessons but also the content you are teaching. In
this case my cooperating teacher was emphasizing how important your health is
and what to do in order to keep healthy and strong. I have been able to find an
article in which argues that teaching children about nutrition is effective to their
learning. Children with healthy eating habits have more energy and are willing to
do more in the classroom or anywhere they go through out the day than those who
do not eat healthy and become slower in their actions. According to the journal of
Early childhood, written by Breslin, Morton and Rudisill. They argue, “Besides

locomotor and non-locomotor skills, children should be taught developmentally

appropriate games and encouraged to move creatively through dance and rhythm”
(Rudisill, 2008). This quote has been sectioned under NASPE standard 3:
Physical Activity Lifestyle which means these are activities that children are
introduced to which they then can take on with them moving forward developing
healthy habits and routines with them daily. Not only does the way a teacher
presents her lesson is important but also the content of her material and making
sure to explain why what she is talking about is important not just in the moment
but also when they grow up in the future.

VII. Recommendations:
Not only do I think that the teacher delivered her lesson very effectively but I do
think that there could have been more activities involved when they went outside
to reinforce what they had learned. Children learn through experience, exposing
them to the outdoors helps them explore on their own to analyze and think about
what they have in front of them. Not only do they need to learn why the topic or
what their teacher has taught them is important but also be able to go home and
influence habits at home if they do not already have those healthy habits. Starting
these habits at such an early age is essential because than when they grow up to be
teenagers or adults, they will have this as part of their living and not look at it as a
sacrifice. Now looking at what she had for them hands on could have been
stretched out a little more. She could have provided them with balls, bouncy balls
or even like super heroes capes like I have read in the journal that says,
“Supplying the children with props may result in vigorous physical activity
through imaginative play. For example, pumpkin center teachers purchased large
pieces of cloth that the children view as superhero capes” (Breslin, 2008). This
allows children to choose what they want to do when it comes to what physical
activities they want to do. Giving them options not only will help them make
decisions for themselves but also help them know they are responsible for their
physical movements for a healthy lifestyle. Instead of just having them walk
around the trails we could have gone to get some balls or even towels from the
classroom to have them run around and feel like they are running in the air to
promote their physical activities in a creative way. Overall the students loved the
idea of going out for a walk through the trails and being able to converse with
them through lunch about what they are eating is also reinforcing what they have
learned. That could have been included in her assessment part of the lesson.

VIII. Post Observation

Personally, learning how to create effective lessons I can say that I have learned a
lot more after completing this observation. Keeping the children engaged in what
you have for them is so important because that controls their behaviors and it
keeps them from misbehaving. Many times, from experiences I have noticed that
teachers will start yelling through their lesson if the children keep interrupting and
I now know that it is not the effective way in directing instructions. Being able to
compare my past experiences and to what I have learned now there is a huge
difference in what to do and what not to do while teaching out your lessons.

Making sure there is enough time for discussion and questions just like for any
mishaps or interruptions.

IX. Citations:

Breslin, C., Morton, J., & Rudisill, M. (2008). Implementing a Physical Activity Curriculum
into the School Day: Helping Early Childhood Teachers Meet the Challenge. Early
Childhood Education Journal, 35(5), 429–437. https://doi-

X. Appendix: none