Friday, March 9, 2012

Observation {Seeking Advice}

I have my formal observation next week and I'm getting pretty worked up about it already-obviously since I'm writing about in on Friday night and it's not until next Friday. I feel like I have prepared but the observation evaluation has changed, I'm new to the school, I know my principal has had a lot on her plate and everyone staff and kids are ready for spring break! Eeek! What on earth was I thinking schedule this observation on a Friday just four days away from spring break and 2 days away from field day?! Well I actually didn't want it to be so late but since my principal is so busy this was the only time available.

Okay okay enough with the ranting... I know it has got to get done and it will all work out! But since you'll are fabulous teachers with wonderful advice I decided I would post my lesson plan for my formal observation on here and hope that you will give me some feedback on what you think I could add or take away! I apologize in advance for the lengthiness but it has to be done like a "college" type lesson plan.

 Oh yeah and also there are some that have to be in there because of Marazno and his new evaluation system for our county. When I say "students will show their understanding" I mean that they will hold up their fingers 4, 3, 2,1 using a scale to show me that they understand. 4 meaning I understand and can teach a friend, 3 I understand but need more time to work on it, 2 I understand some but still need more information, 1 I am trying but I don't understand. Then I have to track their understanding on the board next to the scale and celebrate their success. I know it sounds crazy but I feel like that part is what I'm being evaluated most on.

If anything else seems weird just ask...don't be afraid to hurt my feelings...I would like honest feedback! Oooh and a big thanks in advance if you actually read and leave a comment!

Reading 9:30-10:00
Realism and Fantasy
Friday, March 16, 2012

Learning goal: Students will be able to understand the difference between realism and fantasy.

Benchmarks: L.A.
ESOL: 1, 2, 3

Materials: Houghton Mifflin reading book, anchor charts of realism and fantasy, books that show examples of both realism and fantasy, foldable paper, examples of fantasy and realism from the book, chart paper

1.    Read the learning goal and have students re-state the learning goal in their own words. Have children explain what they think both fantasy and realism means. Have children show their understanding, track their learning, and encourage them that after the lesson they will meet their goal.

2.    Refer to the anchor chart of what the difference is between realism and fantasy. Show examples of books that show fantasy and realism and ask guiding questions as to why the book is fantasy or realism.  After modeling and showing examples ask the children to re-state the learning goal again and show their understanding.

3.    Have one student from each table get a book box that has six books and two sentence strips for each category. Tell the students they will now determine the differences of fantasy and realism in cooperative groups with their table. Tell the students they will sort the books into fantasy or realism. They should take out their sentence strips and place them on the table then place the books under the correct heading. Tell the students they should discuss why each book is fantasy or realism and then place it under the correct heading. I will circle around to guide students on their decision making. When students are done sorting their books I will have one person from each table share their results as to why the book is realism or fantasy. I will ask the students after learning in groups how their understanding of fantasy and realism has changed.

4.    Students will then get out their reading books and turn to the story If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff and tell them we will now be determining the difference between what is real and fantasy in the story. Remind the students that this story is make-believe and things happen that could no happen in real life, and character do things that real people or animals cannot do.  Explain that even in make believe stories character sometimes do things that real people or animals can do. Make a chart with heading Real Life and Fantasy/Make Believe. Give an example of a story detail in each column explaining why the details belong in the columns. Real-A girl feeds a pig a pancake. Fantasy- A pig talks. Have students flip to pages and ask if what the pig or girl is doing could be real. Think aloud with the students without filling in the chart. Ask students again what the learning goal is and have them show their understanding after making a chart.

5.    Remind the students that we  re-read stories for fluency and comprehension. Read the story online and have the students follow along in their books reading aloud with the story.
6.    Show the students an example of the foldable.( Should have took a picture of my example! Sorry!) Pass out the foldables and readings strips with real life and fantasy examples from the book. Have students write the headings Real Life and Fantasy on their foldable and tell them this is their own chart to determine realism and fantasy.  Have the students use their books as a reference for what is real and fantasy in the story. Have the students read each strip and put it under the correct category. Extend the activity for students by having them write down other examples of fantasy and realism from the book. Read the strips with struggling students to help them fill out their chart. When most students seem finish discuss what they have on their chart and why they put it under that category. Add each example to the class chart.

7.    Wrap up the lesson with asking the student the learning goal and difference between fantasy and realism. Track their success are they state the goal, ask students why their understanding changed. Celebrate their success with power words and high fives! Tell the student that we will continue to determine and find realism and fantasy in all the books that we read. We will also continue to work on this in small groups and centers. (Show example of center activity of real and fantasy sentences)

Enter big sigh of relief from this teacher when the observation is over then more franticing over the weekend as I'm thinking about my post observation where I have to reflect and I find out how I did.


  1. I think this sounds great. I just had my final observation last week. I have been teaching for 18 years and being observed still makes me nervous. I think the highlight of my lesson was the evaluation at the end. I used the turning point program to write evaluation questions and the students used clickers to answer questions like a game show. They were super engaged and I had good documentation of their understanding. I am not sure if you have access to something like this.


    1. I wish I had access to something like this! I have seen it used before and used something similar with my smart board last year but unfortunately do not have the technology this year! Thanks for your support!

  2. It sounds good to me . . . formative assessment is all the rage right now. Just stay calm and your lesson will go fine!

    1. Thanks Jen! I will stay calm and keep a smile on my face!

  3. So sad that I had a whole comment and then pushed the wrong button. Observations are so nerve wracking. Glad I am not the only one who finds them that way. And from what I can tell, they continue to become more detailed instead of simpler. As far as your lesson, I think it is fabulous! It is very interactive and hands on, allowing students to take in the new information, practice it in a group, and then show their learning independently. Take a deep breath and you will be fabulous!


    1. I hate when blogger deletes comments-sorry that happened to you! Thanks for your comment and encouragement! I'm going to try to stay positive and stress free!

  4. We are under the same evaluation system. CAST influenced by Marazno (((SIGH)))

    I use the webbs depth of knowledge wheel to guide my interactions with students. Link Here

    My principal is TOUGH on evaluations! We are on our toes from essential questions, standards, CHAMPS management through curriculum resources, questioning, who we question, how we determine the level of questions, what ways did we differentiate, how we evaluated, is it student led, and so on... I pretty certain I just broke into hives writing this...

    I had my science informal evaluation this past week and it was as intense as a formal evaluation. SOoooo (((HUGS))) to you! Our new system can easily take the fun out of the lesson so keep the fun and excitement! You have a great topic and enjoyable story. I know you will have MUCH success.

    Primary Graffiti

    1. Wow your principal seems tough! I can't believe an informal was as intense as a formal. My informals are unannounced so they just show up with an Ipad and you better be teaching the right things and questioning is so important too! If you don't say the right things they'll stay for awhile until you do. How many informals and formals do you have to have? I have 2 informals and one formal-just curious if that is state wide with Marazno. Thanks for your encouragement! I love teaching teach so I hope that shines through!

  5. This looks great and has so many elements incorporated that I don't see how you couldn't have a fab eval!! I understand about the pressure - we have CHAMPS, formative assessment, HOTS, differentiating, workshop, 100% engagement, etc., etc., etc. AHHHH! Good luck!!

    p.s. - Just found your blog. Read 2 entries so far an am loving it! Newest follower alert...haha.

    Ketchen's Kindergarten

    1. It is just so much to think about for one lesson! I'm not perfect but I do know how to teach my kids! Thanks for helping out and for being a new follower! Yeah! :)

  6. Hi!! I just found your blog! Good luck on your evaluation! I am sure you will do AWESOME!! I would love to have you come check out my blog when you have some time.


    1. Thanks so much for your encouragement! Glad you are a new follower! I'm going to check your blog out now!