Enthusiasm & Engagement

Teacher Enthusiasm and Student Engagement (7th-grade Math)

Observation Notes (What did you see?)

The teacher mostly moved around the outside edges of the room. The teacher’s speech was calm and at a moderate but varied depending on the situation and person. Most of the time the teacher was standing and arms weren’t crossed during this period. Teacher would get on the student’s level by sitting or crouching down and tended to look at students work while helping.

Teacher’s knowledge of content was accurate. I don’t know if there was much student learning because students were reviewing what they should have covered in 6th grade. The types of activities were limited to some notes and a long individual seatwork packet. I didn’t see the teacher make real-world connections.

Student behavior and involvement during second period was great. It looked like nearly all of the students were engaged nearly the whole period. It seemed that the teacher either intentionally wrote the incorrect date to see if students were paying attention or used that as an example on the fly.

This class period seemed to be more segmented in that it was broken up into more activities than the other 7th grade math class that was about on the same level as first period and had the same assignments. The teacher gave a better explanation of assignment and used questions from period one to inform what should be discussed in period two.

Reflection (What do you think? How will this affect your teaching?)

I would prefer spending more time walking up and down aisles while monitoring student work but the room might not have been set up to do so very comfortably. I liked how the teacher spoke loud and clear while giving directions and was firm when correcting students. Eye contact was appropriate given the different situations.

Knowledge of content is important but so is letting students learn from each other and on their own. I think some the students had so much support from teachers in the past that they didn’t know how to work on their own. If I observed on a different day I might have seen a wider variety of activities and real-world connections but I’d like to do those things as often as I can.

I don’t know if the students were different, expectations were different, or training was different, but second period seemed to run very smoothly. My Statics professor would give us extra credit for correcting errors in calculations and my College Algebra professor would give extra credit for correcting PowerPoint slides. I think giving extra credit in addition to acknowledgment would help keep students engaged.

I think breaking the class up into different time segments helps keep students engaged. My observation supports primacy-recency effect in keeping students engaged. A good combination of teacher enthusiasm and student engagement helps learning and retention.

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