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I completed my science lesson observation in a different

classroom than the one I was placed in. I was placed in 3rd grade and
the grade was departmentalized. The departmentalization began in
January of 2015 due to an accident one of the four 3rd grade teachers
was in as well as the new hire of one of the 3rd grade teachers. The
teacher involved in the accident wouldnt be returning for a few
months so the school had a loyal teacher assistant as well as subs
covering her class. Since these two positions are not equal to that of a
full time teacher, the assistant wasnt in charge of planning lessons.
The school felt that it was best for them to departmentalize in order to
ensure all students were receiving equal education. The grade was
departmentalized into A, B, C, and D class and they rotated between
math, science and social studies, reading, and writing. The teacher
assistant as well as the subs within the class taught social studies and
science. Due to this, the students typically did bookwork and the other
CTs thought it would be better if I didnt go into that classroom.
Luckily, I worked it out so I could observe a 5th grade science lesson
within the school. In the classroom I observed in there was a male
teacher, and about 18 students in the class during my observation. I
did observe early in the morning and there were extra desks so the
class could normally have more students than it dud during my
observation. The majority of the students were African American but
there was one Asian student as well. The boy/girl ratio was fairly even
as the students desks were set up in pairs in the front and some small
groups of three towards the back.
I observed a lesson within the Ecosystem Unit that the class was
studying. The lesson began with the students completing a Do now.
This consisted of the students reviewing the information they had
learned previously, as well completing a science warm-up before going
over the Do now as a group. Here they answered a few questions in
order to get their brains working and ready for science! The students
then talked with their partner telling them the information the learned
and remembered regarding various terrestrial ecosystems: Tundra,
Taiga, Temperate, and Deciduous forests. The students sort of did a
think pair share. They turned to their partner told them what they
knew about each of the topics, and then they all went through the
topics quickly as a class. I acted as one of the students partners who
was sitting towards the back of the class and he told me all about the
ecosystems! The teacher monitored all the discussions and walked
around in order to scaffold any students who needed it, he also called
on different people each time in order to check for understanding. He
interacted with the students very well, and was always engaged in
conversation within the classroom.
When he began introducing the new information he showed the
class a SMART board page that displayed all the standards of the unit,
the information they would learn about, and what they would be doing.

Using direct instruction strategies, he went through the slides and as


he did the students made connections to their prior knowledge while
engaging in learning new information. The lesson was focused on food
chains and the ways in which the food chain impacts our environment.
They had already learned about producers, consumers, and
decomposers so now they were putting these ideas into context. They
reviewed these terms by playing an interactive SMART board matching
game where they matched pictures of animals to the correct term. The
teacher then introduced herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. I was
surprised that the students were learning the information this way
because I feel like herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores are easier to
understand and would be introduced more towards the beginning!
The new topics were introduced through the use of an EOG
practice book. Each student had a copy in front of him or her as the
teacher read aloud the new terms (direct instruction). After
introducing a term they would discuss the ideas and compare them to
knowledge they already had. For example, when he first introduced
the food chain he provided a visual on the board and showed the
students a picture in the book that contained different descriptions of
the various parts of the food chain. The class went through and
discussed these ideas in order to gain an understanding of the new
information. The students took notes on the new information they
were learning as they went through the EOG book and the slides
provided. The teacher related these new topics to predator and prey.
He was providing them with a lot of the aspects included within the
food chain. Throughout this lesson the teacher continued to relate all
key ideas to one another. He explained how the predator and prey as
well as herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores all play into the basic
foundation of the food chain. They identified that without one of these
factors; the food chain wouldnt be complete and therefore wouldnt be
working properly. The concluded the science portion of their day by
continuing to work on their terrestrial ecosystems brochures.
This lesson was packed with information! Enough information
that I was a little overwhelmed! I think I may have observed a lesson
more towards the beginning a new part of the unit. The teacher
explained how he liked to go though the key topics and then work on
each of them individually in order to go more in depth. Whatever he is
doing is definitely working because these students have a great
understanding of science and the topics they are working with! I think
this lesson linked to the next generation science standard 5-LS2-1.
This standard connects through its aspects of ecosystems. Within the
big ideas of this standard the aspects of decomposers, food webs, and
the ideas of organisms within ecosystems are identified. These
aspects were all included in the lesson and are exemplified in the
lesson description above. This lesson connected to the students daily
lives because they are all part of the food chain. The teacher

explained all of this to the students and they were very interested in
this and seemed to really connect to the information he provided them
with. For example, he made it a point to tell the students where they
fit into the food chain.
I think the students got a general idea of the information they
will be learning about over the next portion of their unit. They were
introduced to all of these ideas, concepts, and key topics as a way to
prepare them to dive in to the details making up the ecosystems and
food chains that make up such a large part of our lives. I really
appreciated how much he taught science, and I think his students
value the lessons as well!
5-LS2-1.
Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals,
decomposers, and the environment.