Observation Worksheet FOCUS ON TEACHER PLANNING Teacher planning is not easy to observe, since it is mainly a mental activity. Here are three tasks you can carry out in a classroom to gather information about teacher planning. Directions: Do not use actual names of schools, teachers, administrators, or students when using this worksheet. Observer’s Name: Date: Grade Level: Subject: Class Size: Source of Objectives: Background Information: Give a brief general description of the school’s social, economic, and ethnic makeup: Task 1. The Plan Book and the Actual Lesson What to Record: Before observing a classroom lesson, ask to see what the teacher has written in his/her lesson plan book as a guide for the lesson. As you observe the lesson, make a record of three things that the teacher does that were not noted in the written comments in the plan book. After the lesson is over, interview the teacher briefly about these three procedures and record the answers. Questions to Ask the Teacher: 1. When did you decide that you were going to do this in this lesson? 2. Is this a procedure that you use often with these students? 3. What is your main reason for using this procedure? 4. Have you ever written this procedure down as part of a lesson plan? Why or why not? Task 2. The Plan Book and the Substitute’s Lesson Plan(s) What to Record: Most schools require teachers to keep lesson plans for a substitute teacher on file, to be used in case of the teacher’s absence. Ask to see a plan the teacher has prepared for a substitute teacher (either a plan for a single lesson, or a plan for a day’s activities). Compare this plan to the plans written in the teacher’s plan book. Ask the teacher to tell you the reasons for the differences you note. Reflections on Your Observation: 1. If you were a substitute in this classroom, which set of plans would you prefer to have, and why? 2. What would you want to know that is not included in either set of plans? Task 3. Teacher Planning and Student Planning What to Record: Learning to plan and organize your own activities is an important part of becoming an independent learner. The degree to which students are encouraged to engage in the planning and organizing of instructional tasks may vary a great deal based on students’ stage of development. As you observe in a classroom setting, try to identify two or three instances in which students are given opportunities to plan or structure some aspect of an activity or assignment. Question to Ask the Teacher: 1. Ask the teacher about how and when students are given practice in planning or structuring an individual or group activity.