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Literacy Lesson Observation, Reflection, & Recommendations

Location: Cumberland County Middle School

Date: March 25th, 2015

Grade Level: 8th grade


Topic or Focus of Lesson: Identifying plot & plot sequencing activity
Objectives: What objectives were apparent in the lesson? If there was a lesson plan
available, did the objectives in the plan match the ones you observed being taught?
We were not provided with a lesson plan. The teachers objectives were to address plot
and being able to sequence the plot during a reading activity and with an activity with
images.
Teaching What did you see the teacher do? What teaching techniques were used?
Pay attention to materials, grouping options, instructional strategies, pacing
The teacher had a schedule on the overhead for what work needed to be completed that
day:
- Bell Work: You have 7 different Aesops Fables. Underline the main idea.
Circle the supporting details.
- What is Plot?
- Plot Sequencing Activity
- Individual Unit-Long Reading Reflection
- Book
The teacher began class with bell work in which the students were given fables and
asked to underline the main idea and circle the supporting details. She then played a
video about plot. The video was a song and had a great beat! The students seemed
engaged with it. Students were then given a sheet on plot diagrams and a story to go with
it. She instructed that they would work as a group, in partners and then individually.
The teacher had students read aloud. She chose to have them popcorn read. As they read,
they identified the introduction, the rising action, problem/conflict, type of conflict,
climax of the story, falling action and resolution. The students would write down what the
teacher wrote on the board. The students were providing the answers and the teacher was
guiding.
Plot Sequencing Activity: (directions given by teacher orally, and on the board)
- Each of you has been given a piece of a storyboard
- Describe to the members of your row what the storyboard looks like without
showing them the piece
- As you go along, decide each time where that piece goes in relation to the other
pieces.

Dont look at them until we are all finished!

This activity came off a bit confusing to the students as they began working, so the
teacher began to re-explain to the students. The students struggled but worked through
the activity together, as rows. This activity allowed them to practice describing, as well as
determining the sequence of the plot.
Students What were the students doing? How were they engaged in the learning?
Were they engaged in the learning? Any off-task behaviors?
I have never been in an 8th grade classroom, so it was all very new to me. The students
were somewhat engaged. They definitely respected the teacher, but as preteens, it was
easy for them to want to socialize and get off track. This class period is inclusion, so there
naturally were distractions because of the varied learning levels of each student. In the
classroom, there was the 8th grade special education teacher, the teacher and the student
teacher. So, there were extra hands, which is always helpful.
Interesting observations: What did you see that was interesting, unusual,
surprising?
I found it interesting how much the teacher let the students talk. It was interesting to me
because I am used to lower grades and being more in control of how the students act. But,
while they were talking a lot, I could tell they were engaged and paying attention. The
teacher did a good job of giving them that flexibility.
Questions you have after the lesson about the teacher, teaching techniques, students,
content of the lesson, literacy learning, literacy instruction, etc. What did you leave
the lesson reflecting on, wondering about, etc.?
N/A

Positives: List two positive things (related to literacy learning) you observed from
each:

1.
2.

Teacher
Choice of engaging video
She chose a video with the type of
music that her students like.
Choice of an activity having
students be descriptive about the
plot in order to determine sequence.

Students
Responsive to teachers questions about
plot
Silent during video describing plot.

Support: List two areas in which you could assist or support the teacher with this
lesson or topic. Include the specific standard # you would be assisting the teacher
with (see list below), a description of your suggestion, and cite a resource the teacher
could use (this could be a textbook, article, website, video, book or any other
resource that could enhance or extend their lesson). Even if the lesson is absolutely
wonderful, consider what adaptations for individual literacy needs (both high and
low) might be made, what extensions could follow, etc.
Support:
Idea 1: IRA standard #5 Literate Environment: Candidates create a literate
environment that fosters reading and writing by integrating foundational
knowledge, instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum
materials, and the appropriate use of assessments.

Description of idea: My idea for this teacher would be as they were reading the
story aloud and determining the different components of the plot, it would be
beneficial to have included a visual map to fill in as they went or to have picked a
story where she could have brought in and/or created props to demonstrate the
different components/phases of the plot. I choose this idea because it would be
beneficial for this group of students because they are her lowest group and
inclusion. This idea is derived from the focus of IRA standard #5, specifically,
approaches and methods, curriculum materials
Resource the teacher can use to support this idea:
Assessing and Correcting Reading and Writing Difficulties by Thomas G.
Gunning

Idea 2: IRA standard #4 Diversity: Candidates create and engage their students
in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding, respect, and a
valuing of differences in our society.

Description of idea: My idea for this teacher would be to further the instruction
of plot and provide examples or opportunities to complete activities with
nonfiction text. This would allow for students to recognize that this connected to
real-life situations. From there, students could retell true stories or create a story
with a plot that could happen in real life.

Resource the teacher can use to support this idea:


Assessing and Correcting Reading and Writing Difficulties by Thomas G.
Gunning