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Monday, October 26, 2009

Powers of Observations

I had my first observation today. Don't know if I can call it an official or unofficial obervation, but the principal walked in midway through math class and sat in the back and watched.

At the time, I was throwing tennis balls at one kid while calling him unflattering names, so I don't know how that will look in print.


Actually, at the time, the kids were practicing 3-digit subtraction across zeroes with whiteboards, so it looked a little like controlled chaos. I was walking around the room as kids randomly held up their board for me to see that they had done a problem, checked it by adding the bottom two numbers, and verified that their answer matched.

It was a lot of me nodding across the room and pointing, saying, "Good. OK. Yep. Right. Good."

At one point, a girl at the table closest to the principal was having trouble with one question so I went over to help her. (Helping, while occasionally glancing around at the whiteboards around the room, quietly nodding, "Good. Yep. Right on.")

While I was trying to help her, she seemed mesmerized by the principal. I would ask her (the student) where to get more tens from, and she would glance at her board, then gaze at the principal. I would ask her again, and she would answer Hundreds, then borrow one from the hundreds place, then look up and gaze at the principal.

Finally, even the principal said, "Child! Focus on your work!!"


loonyhiker said...

Sounds like a great lesson! I think anytime the students are engaged and not hanging the teacher out the window by his ankles is a good thing! LOL Seriously though, this is what a classroom should be like and I'm sure your students are learning a great deal!

Anonymous said...

Finally, even the principal said, "Child! Focus on your work!!"

I can hear her say it.

Christy said...

that's awesome. I had my observation today too, of course during my most high-maintenance class, and with a new principal, so I have NO IDEA what to expect.

classroom fundraiser said...

Sounds like a fun way to give a lesson and have the kids actually be involved...bravo

I can remember being distracted when new people were in the classroom. I imagine the girl was wondering what the principal was doing in there...was he there to watch her know how kids thinks :)

I was stopping by because I saw that you are a 3rd grade math teacher. My blog is all about helping Schools, Classrooms, Youth Groups and NPO raise funds.

We donate 50% back to schools or classrooms and thought this might be something you would be interested in.

You can visit our blog or website or email me if you have any questions

Love your blog and this post too!

Coach J said...

On the day of my first official observation, a huge spider decided to crawl right under the desk of one of my more squeamish girls, who proceeded to scream bloody murder.

To my credit, I was able to pick it up with a piece of paper, shoo it out the window, and continue with our poetry annotation.

I''m not sure if my spider-herding prowess has anything to do with my teaching ability, but the principal sure was impressed!

Mister Teacher said...

Awesome powers of calmness, Coach!