Classroom Observation Report

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Introduction My role in the ongoing TEMP Project (Teacher Education Model Programs) proved to be an experience like none other I have had in my years in education. My own training and experience has taken place in classrooms ranging from 7th grade to college undergraduate literacy courses. Observing an elementary math class ensured I would be a wide-eyed learner absorbing that fascinating environment. To be sure, I was a bit nervous as I pondered the prospect of observing an elementary classroom, for I bow at the feet of elementary school teachers and their endurance and dedication to our children. What drew me to the TEMP Project was the possibility of working with a professional development model that not only addresses targeted needs of the individual school identified from the disaggregation of assessment data, but also allows teachers to learn from observing one another as peers. While, historically, teachers have gone into their classrooms and closed their doors, responsible in virtual isolation for the planning, implementation, and assessment of curriculum, this is changing. Recent reform efforts have included teacher collaboration as an integral part of the effort to improve our schools, and as Grant and Murray (2002) assert, “There is substantial evidence that teacher collaboration can be a source of teachers’ professional development, and schools where extensive collaboration is the norm are often more successful than those where teachers collaborate less” (186). Pre-service teachers are not often taught the skills needed to examine data for the purposes of improving curriculum and instruction. Heritage and Chen (2005) consider the need for using data to inform school improvement. They note that “…... ... middle of paper ... ... Wang, J., & E. Lin (2005). Comparative studies on U.S. and Chinese mathematics learning and the implications for standards-based mathematics teaching reform. Educational Researcher, 34:5, 3-13. Wang, J., & L. Paine (2001). Mentoring as assisted performance: A pair of Chinese teachers working together. The Elementary School Journal, 102:2, 157-181. Wertsch, J. V. (1985). Vygotsky and the social formation of mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Waxman, H. C., R. G. Tharp, & R. S. Hilberg (Eds.) (2004). Observational research in U.S. classrooms: New approaches for understanding cultural and linguistic diversity. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Black, E. (2005). Discussing and writing about mathematical concepts. Temp Project. Yin, R. K. (2004). The case study anthology. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

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