Classroom Observations: Wednesday April 1, 2009 Period 1

Occasionally I like to document digitally some of my classroom observations to give the community an idea of the daily teaching and learning in the classrooms.

Wednesday I was in the middle school and they are in the midst of “Spirit Week.” Each day, students are asked to dress up according to a theme and there is a fun activity during the lunch period. It gives a lift to the students enthusiasm and is a rally point in the school calendar. Above, “Vladamir Putin” is surrounded by his “body guards” although I don’t know what kind a protection a banana offers.

Today is the culmination of the week and the students are holding a Locker Decorating competition. It is designed to get the students to clean their lockers and use them more effectively. Many students continue to carry around all their books in their bags instead of storing them in their lockers. There will be a dance tonight that the STUCO students are organizing.

The Grade 8 Design and Technology class was working on calligraphy. Below, David shows his favorite Gothic script, “Fraktur” which was made popular in the early 1500’s by Maximillian, the Holy Roman Emperor.

Grade 8 Studies Calligraphy
Grade 8 Studies Calligraphy

In science, Mrs. Medenica prepared a wonderful presentation on geological time. Her classroom is an “oasis of learning” and she always posts much student work.

The Scientific Method - 6A
The Scientific Method - 6A

The grade 7 Language Arts class was practicing their new vocabulary words, “roster”, “procrastinate”, and “trenchant”. I believe a foundation to a good education is possessing and using a large vocabulary. Words are power!

One thing I noticed is the tendency of the students to socialize in their own ethnic or nationality group. Teachers need to be aware of this and when designing seating charts, or organizing collaborative work, they need to purposely create diverse groups. It is good to have students from different cultures working together.

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