Classroom Obervation

You are Welcome

You are invited to come observe the children in class. Observations are conducted by appointment only and can be scheduled between 8:00-11:00 am after the first eight weeks of school. Please call the school and schedule your observation time. Be prepared to stay at least one hour. If you stay for a shorter time, you will not get an adequate view of the children’s cycle of work. You are welcome to stay longer, if you wish. Near the end of your visit, the teacher will try to make time to talk with you briefly and answer any questions you may have.

The purpose of your visit to the classroom is to allow you to see a typical morning’s work time. We ask that you follow these guidelines in order that your presence in the classroom will not influence or change the children’s environment.

Classroom ObservationObservation Etiquette

Please arrange for the care of your young children elsewhere. It is our desire that you be able to give your full attention to the activities you have come to observe. This is usually impossible if you are also caring for a small child. We will not be able to invite your child to participate in the class. Having a new child in the class demands much time and attention away from the other children. You would then not be able to see a typical classroom situation.

Please sit in the assigned observer’s seat. Please do not walk around the classroom or examine the materials unless the children are out of the room.

If you are greeted by children, return the greeting politely but quietly, then encourage them to return to their work: “I can’t talk now. I am here to watch you work.” The teachers will help direct the children back to their work.

If you are observing your own child’s classroom, your child will probably behave in some way different from usual. He may do more work or less work, he may be silly or show off, etc. Most of the time you will be able to see much of what he does on a typical day, but there are usually some differences. If your child creates a real disturbance for the class because of your presence, we will ask that you quickly and quietly leave. Your child will probably be able to handle your visit a few weeks later.

Look around the room to see the variety of activities that may be going on at one time. Do this at several different times during your visit.

Choose one or two children to follow for a longer period of time.

Look for signs of intense concentration in spite of the activity surrounding the child.

Notice what happens when a child has difficulty with some apparatus or procedure. Does he go to a teacher? Struggle for a solution on his own? Does a teacher notice and come to the child’s aid, or notice and choose to let the child work toward his own solution?

What interactions are going on between child and teacher, between child and child?

Notice the varied levels of difficulty in the different activities in the room.

Please feel free to take notes and jot down any questions you have. Discuss them with the teacher at the end of your visit. If the teacher cannot talk to you at that time, leave her a message and she will call you.