These are pictures and notes I’ve taken from an observation with a new teacher, Mr. Caquias. Caquias is an 8th grade Social Studies/Science teacher. I visited him while he was teaching a lesson on properties. He has been an active co-planner with an 8th grade Science teacher who is impactful with students and instructional planning and delivery.
There are several things that stand out about this lesson, things that get me excited about seeing a teacher enter the teaching field:
- The great noise – Students were up, active, talking on task and about the assignment.
- Real Life Connection – Students had to discuss properties of different objects and one of the objects is an automatic air freshner!
- BYOD[ish] – Our school has several computer labs, and multiple laptop carts. This year we have also purchased iPad Project carts. But for this lesson, simply allowing any student that had a smartphone, or their own tablet, that’s internet ready to conduct research, not only got the job done but was a best practice as well. At the core, this activity was designed for discussion and that’s what happened. For tech integration, we don’t always need a computer lab or a cart.
- Evidence of planning – If you want great learning, maximize your collaboration efforts with teachers. This lesson was about the teacher getting out of the way of the kids and their learning. The activities in the room aligned with the learning learning artifacts in the room, including the vocabulary wall and EQ.
I captured this video on my phone, it wasn’t planned but I had to make sure I recorded the engagement and focus on this lesson.
Great lesson! This is how we get our kids ready, not just for a standardized science test at the end of the year, but also for critical analysis, collaborative work – skills beyond this 8th grade experience