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External Observations

Describe the school and what was observed (activities, teaching methods, etc.) My observation was at Northview Middle School was in the classroom of Amy Miller. I observed and helped in her Algebra classes on April 19 as they reviewed for a recycle test. I chose to do my first observation in the same school as I am student teaching to start to steal ideas from other teachers that I know and respect. The Algebra Classes in our school get the chance to take the test twice a couple of weeks apart. The day I as observing they were preparing for the 2nd time students would take the test. Mrs. Miller started by reviewing the old test and letting students know how the tests would differ. Each student got to see their old test and compare their answers to the correct ones. This gave students the chance to see what problems and mistakes they had made the previous time and try to fix those. After reviewing the old test, Mrs. Miller handed out a review worksheet. For this test there were three formulas students would need to use. Students had to go through the worksheet and identify which formula to use and write this down and get it approved by either myself or Mrs. Miller before they could start to solve. I really liked this idea. By checking them, students did not have to do unnecessary work and we made sure that they knew what formula applied to what situation. Once they had our initials down, students could work on the problems. This gave us the opportunity to work with students who may need more help. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience and got great ideas about how students can work together and with the teacher in a relaxed setting. Students stayed engaged and got the work done, but were able to enjoy working with groups and partners. I enjoyed watching her relationships with the students and hope to be able to do the same when I am a full time teacher.

Teacher Signature: _Amy Miller________

Date: April 19, 2012

School and Grade Level: Northview Middle School, 9th grade

External Observations
Describe the school and what was observed (activities, teaching methods, etc.) My observation at Waukee Middle School provided a lot of great insight. I helped in 6th grade Pre-Algebra classes taught by Jon Nost. These students are some of the most advanced for their age group and thus were able to work very independently. Mr. Nost gave a short period of direct instruction and the rest of the class was followed with collaborative learning and guided instruction. Students were able to mainly learn by themselves or with small groups to master the material. I also learned much about how Waukee assesses. Students and the teacher decide together when they will test. This allows them to determine when they are ready and feel confident in the material. This means all students may not assess at the same time, it is when the student is ready. Waukee also does standard based grading. This means each standard is assessed by a rubric for each student. The teachers created a rubric detailing what criteria each student must meet to be at the level of beginning, developing, satisfactory, or exceed expectations for each standard. When students assess their understanding is evaluated based off the rubric. These ideas are all things I want to implement in my class. Standards based grading is something that takes a lot of work but also that can be valuable and eliminates point counting. I also loved how much independent learning happened. Students knew the routine and expectations and worked together to solve problems. This would not work in all classes but with students at a high level, standards based grading would be amazing.

Teacher Signature: Jon Nost

Date: April 24, 2012

School and Grade Level: Waukee Middle School, 6th grade

External Observations
Describe the school and what was observed (activities, teaching methods, etc.) My observation at Ankeny High School with Karen OLoughlin was in her AP Computer Science class and her Intro to Computer Programming class. In both of the classes students worked on computers to complete projects individually. Having never been a teacher in a computer lab before, I found it interesting to observe. The AP students were able to work mainly by themselves to complete work. Although some were slightly off task at times, in general they all worked towards their end goal. Mrs. OLoughlin provided individual guidance when needed but otherwise observed and answered questions. In the Intro to Computer Programming class, Mrs. OLoughlin introduced a new subject. She projected and displayed a power point on each students screen and handed them a note guide. Students were able to work on other things on their computer which allowed some students to be off task. Although most students paid attention, the length of the lecture did not prove to be an engaging class structure. If I was ever to have class in a computer lab, I would work that students were off task. I would want the screens to face me and allows students to turn around to face the front. This would let me monitor what students were doing and if they were on task. I also saw that it was important to walk around and engage students in a discussion. This would keep them on task and help me build relationships with them. Overall, I thought it was a valuable experience and a good observation.

Teacher Signature: Karen OLoughlin

Date: April 24, 2012

School and Grade Level: Ankeny High School, All grades