Observation Reflection

During my observation today, I wanted to focus on questioning techniques. I really wanted to think about the types of questions I was asking in terms of variation and depth as well as determine if I was giving students enough time to think about a question before calling on someone for a response. Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to move away from questions such as “what’s next” while moving towards encouraging students to genuinely share their thinking, whether it be right or wrong.
From the observation notes, I noticed that I often ask the same questions. In some aspects this can be good, because the students know what I am expecting, but as a whole I don’t think I want to work to change this. I want to constantly engage the students in mathematical thinking, not just letting them go through the motions.
One highlight of this lesson for me, was diving into common misconceptions. I hadn’t necessarily planned on doing that today, but it seemed to fit well so I decided to give it a try! I like having students identify errors in order to understand why that way does not work so they can in turn avoid it as well!
In the debriefing part of the observation, we discussed several things I would like to implement in my every day teaching. I am going to conscientiously make an effort to have the students discuss with their neighbor often so I can hear responses from several people on one topic. Also, I really like the idea of having students write down the answer to a question I pose, my only worry with this is that it could get time consuming to do walk arounds so often. The set up of my classroom, which my CT doesn’t really want to change, isn’t the most conducive to getting to all the students quickly.
I do want my students to become independent math students where they can think and reason mathematically without having to be spoon fed so often. I feel that we need to work on problem solving and critical thinking. I want to implement more collaboration and communication between the students. I believe I received several good suggestions today and I look forward to trying them out in the days ahead!
Quick side note: I tried some of these techniques just this afternoon and I liked the results! Using “thumbs up/down” for agree or disagree and stimulating a class discussion was cool to see. The discussion did not quite bring about the necessary points, but it helped me know what they were thinking and a base for my explanation.

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