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Peer observation

In-Service Session, February 2012

Susan Matthews

on 5 May 2012

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Transcript of Peer observation

are sustained over time

require will, a clear purpose, and good communication

lead to positive changes in teaching and learning

should avoid quick and artificial snapshots

should have student engagement at the heart of every peer observation In an excellent classroom, teachers are: In an excellent classroom, students are: David Kitts is a first–grade teacher on the Santo Domingo Indian Reservation in New Mexico. In his bilingual classroom, Native American students are studying the history of farming through a lesson that compares farming in eighteenth–century New England to current–day practices in the Midwest. The lesson uses literature and the study of various farming tools and products to illuminate the changes that have taken place in the industry over time and in different parts of the country. Video: 1st grade Historical Change http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1769 Wendy Ewbank teaches seventh and eighth grade at Madrona School in Bellevue, Washington. In a civics lesson on landmark Supreme Court cases, the students focus on the tension between the rights of the individual and the good of society. In the lesson, students work in groups, presenting various cases to the class in the form of a press conference. Key issues include the right to privacy, equal protection, and the First Amendment. On day two, students hold a town meeting to discuss whether the burning of the American flag is protected under the right to freedom of speech. Ms. Ewbank provides clear rubrics, which help students understand the expectations and goals for the lesson. Video: 7th/8th grades Landmark Supreme Court Cases http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1786 http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1779 Darlene Jones–Inge is a fourth–grade teacher at O’Hearn Elementary School located in Boston’s inner city. Ms. Jones–Inge, a teacher for 10 years, presents a complex lesson that focuses on the theme of giving. Ms. Jones–Inge has students work in teams to determine a meaningful service project addressing the needs within their school, community, country, or world. Through thoughtful voting and collaborative decision making, students must determine the goal and scale of their project. Go to this unit. Video: 4th grade Making a Difference Through Giving http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1791 Wendell Brooks is a teacher at the diverse Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California. Mr. Brooks' ninth–grade history class focuses on a variety of political ideologies present during the period of World War I. His class includes lively discussion on capitalism, communism, totalitarianism, and Nazism, as portrayed by leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini. In his lesson, Mr. Brooks incorporates a Socratic discussion into his lesson, as well as group activities and presentations. Video: 9th grade Competing Ideologies Rob Cuddi, a fifth–grade teacher at Winthrop Middle School in Winthrop, Massachusetts, has been teaching for almost 30 years and has recently taken an active role in restructuring the social studies curriculum to accommodate both state and national standards. Mr. Cuddi’s lesson introduces the theme of exploration in North America, posing three essential questions: How have people in history affected our lives today?; How do the human and physical systems of the Earth interact?; and What role do economies play in the foundation of our history? Video: 5th grade Explorers in North America http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1775 Meylin Gonzalez is a kindergarten teacher in Tampa, Florida. Ms. Gonzalez uses this lesson to introduce her students to several economic concepts, including production and cooperation. Using a children’s book as a guide, Ms. Gonzalez reviews with her students how people work cooperatively on an assembly line to make a product. The students then experience the concepts of production and distribution through an activity in which they create an assembly line in the classroom and prepare hand–made bread. Go to this unit. Video: Kindergarten Making Bread Together http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1772 http://www.learner.org/vod/vod_window.html?pid=1794 Brian Poon is a teacher at Brookline High School in metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Poon’s 12th–grade philosophy lesson focuses on the role of the individual in society. Based on readings by various philosophers, including Reinhold Niebuhr, Thomas Hobbes, Mao Zedong, Martha Nussbaum, and Plato, students apply the philosophers’ viewpoints to solve the dilemmas of a fictitious nation called "Fenway." They then participate in a dynamic class discussion about how to integrate the best philosophical ideas to address Fenway’s problems. Video: 12th grade The Individual in Society Peer Observations GDS In-Service February 2012 Effective peer observations... Agenda In an excellent classroom, teachers are: Indicators of Classroom Excellence In an excellent classroom, students are: Video Examples 1. Overview of Peer Observation: 5 minutes 2. Watch Video Example: 5-10 minutes 3. Debrief: 10-15 minutes 4. Next steps and suggestions / comments: 5 minutes The observed teacher defines the purpose for the visit.

Specific purpose, question, or focus
Non-specific, open-ended

Both teachers establish the nature of the observations and what is expected of the observer, for example:

scripting observations
focusing on a particular student or particular element of the practice
anything of interest Before the visit... Observers take descriptive (rather than interpretive or evaluative) notes on student actions and teacher actions.

I see a yellow circle surrounded by blue.
There's a sun in a deep blue sky.
The sun is drawn skillfully.

There is no white space left on the page.
I think that the student was afraid of leaving space on the page.
I don't like the way there's no room left on the page -- it feels so crowded. During the visit... The observer's feedback/comments should be specific, with reference to events noted, and should address the expressed interests of the person observed.

Both teachers should share observations, questions, and suggestions about changes in professional practice that could restructure the learning opportunities for students.

There should be time for the person observed to respond to feedback and for both parties to review the process. After the visit... Research suggests that peer observation can benefit teachers, students, and schools by:

pinpointing successful instruction and areas needing improvement

helping us develop a shared language about teaching and learning

sharing a knowledge base by being public with our work. The Why Peer observation is a way to gather information about adult practice in the school, reflect on it, and use it to improve teaching and learning. The What Thank you for coming! Looking at Student Work Involving all students * Asking and inviting questions * Providing a safe space for kids to ask questions, be wrong, and be creative * Organized and prepared * Able to communicate material and answer questions clearly * Engaged with students (eye contact, body posture, movement, etc.) * Providing a sense of purpose and direction * Modeling * Facilitating * Explaining * Planning * Mediating * Passionate/energetic/invested in the material/subject as seen through engagement with students and the subject * Clear in their expectations and directions ; outcome/intention of lesson is “visible” * Talking with students, not over or above them * Attentive to air time and privileging of student voices vs “teacher talk” * Valuing and affirming a multiplicity of voices * Attentive to his/her own identity and positioning (appropriate authority) * Allowing students to talk/clarify learning * Enjoying themselves * Challenging their students * Connecting with their students * Modeling an environment where risks are taken and rewarded * Listening and talking with all children with interest and empathy * Circulating around to each child for individual attention * Relating new material to old and encouraging children to do so as well * Providing concrete materials for learning that meet different learning styles * Charismatic * Learning beside/along with the students * Showing mastery of the material * Putting the kids’ ideas in the center of the conversation * Shaping the class without deforming the kids’ responses to the work at hand * Helping the kids experience a genuine excitement * Demonstrating genuine interest in and affection for the students * Providing opportunities for curiosity, wonder, questioning, experimenting * Providing regular concrete constructive feedback * Paying attention to everything that’s happening in the classroom and responding accordingly Demonstrating genuine curiosity and interest * Taking risks with new ideas * Making mistakes and being willing to try again * Working with peers * Being challenged by new ideas – theirs or others * Interacting with each other * Making discoveries * Deeply thinking * Challenging assumptions * Feeling that their contributions are constructing meaning * Comfortable, safe * Participating * Having fun * Listening to each other and the teacher * Showing appreciation for each other and the teacher * Working with concrete materials * Making choices and decisions * Happy, engaged ,confident, well-behaved and respectful * Sharing their knowledge (multiple opportunities) * Showing that they want to be there through their engagement, body language * Thinking (having the time/space) * Demonstrating proficiencies * Comfortable asking questions that reveal both knowledge and confusion * Taking risks (failing – making mistakes – and feeling good) * Comfortable asking questions that reveal both understanding and confusion * Still engaged even as the class is ending * Working collectively not just individually toward a greater purpose * Able to see themselves represented around the classroom (i.e., artwork/projects on walls) * Seeing their ideas validated and used to further the class * Doing: demonstrating skills (observable) and connections * On task * Building/creating * Caring for one another * Playing * Awake/alert * Have their notebooks, books ,pencils out * Aware of what the classroom rules and customs are (raising hands, not raising hands, etc.) * Being reflective * Challenging their own – and others’ – way of thinking * Making connections among topics * Seeing themselves reflected in the room * Constructing meaning
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