Thursday, May 16, 2013

If These Walls Could Talk

Have you ever had that walk-though observation and thought 'If only they had walked through 5 minutes earlier?'  I am sure ever teacher has had that observation where he/she wished they could stop the lesson and talk to the observer letting them know more about what is happening.

If only the walls could talk?!  Well, guess what - they can!  Let your walls do the talking.  Here are a few tips to help make your next walk-through observation a breeze:

1. Before you leave each day, be sure that you have Essential Questions, Homework, Learning Objectives, and Vocabulary listed on the board. Observers are able to clearly see what is happening throughout the day. An added bonus - your students can see it too!

2. Use sticky chart paper to record student learning.  I like to make Circle Maps of current learning for each subject.  I change my marker color each day to show the new information.  I hang these below my board so they are easy for observers to see and easy for me to reach during lessons.

3. Have student work posted with commentary that reflects the learning.  Put a post-it that gives feedback and connects to the standard.  (Example for Fractions Math Poster - Wow Kayla!  You really showed a clear understanding of adding fractions with unlike denominators in your illustration!)  This allows observers to see what students are grasping.

4. Clip a copy of your lesson plans to your board so you can hand them to the observer as you are walking through the room.

5.  You may even want to have a Notes for Observers document that tells some of the exciting things that are happening in your classroom!

I'd love to add more to this list.  What ways have you made your walls talk?


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