Observation Day Guidelines

Observation Notes Example

Observations [s=student, t=teacher]


Codes: S1= Student 1, S2= Student 2, S3= Student 3

9:50 AM

T- Compliments S for using Science vocab

S1 , S2- S1 working on questions. S1 reading to S2 S2- Which lab?

S1- photosynthesis happens

S2- I got this (opens notebook) S2- What did you get?


S1- What ever cellular respiration makes, photosynthesis makes, and we make.


T- Going over questions to review

T- Starts facilitating sharing Hypothesis S3- Light= blue, Dark= yellow

T- Results with some variations. Review claim- what happens? What did you notice? What did you get conceptually?

7-­‐8 minutes

S1- Claim- put it in the light btb changed. In the dark it did not change. S2- Evidence

S1- Evidence

S2-­‐In the light yellow before and after still yellow. In the Dark it was yellow before and blue after.

S1- you done?

S3- Was the one in the light blue? S3- What was the reason?

S2- I was spacing out.

S1- Think of reasoning

S3- Photosynthesis happens with light S3- (opens his notebook)

S1- Why did the color change?

S3- The light!


• Add to data table- Change of color

• A sample set of the test tubes

• What are the misconceptions?

• Maybe scaffold group discussions

• Observed several hands up and some not picked

Observer Responsibilities

Observer Responsibilities during the Study Lesson

  • Remember, you are serving as an observer, not the teacher. Do not interfere with the lesson even if the teacher takes a different course than was planned.
  • As you observe the lesson, keep in mind that you will NOT be critiquing the teacher.
  • Respect the atmosphere of the classroom.
  • Minimize side conversation during the lesson.
  • Be aware of blocking the student’s views and/or video camera.
  • Follow the observation plan decided upon in the research lesson observation pre-planning meeting.
  • Minimize interaction with students. Refrain from teaching or assisting.

Use your Researcher Lens

  • Keep in mind the student development and learning goals.
  • Refer to indicators as you document your observations.
  • Record all types of observations related to your indicator(s), including errors and misconceptions.
  • Take detailed notes on individual student responses and questions using student codes.
  • Use predetermined student codes, roster and seating chart as you refer to students in your notes.

Focus your notes on observations rather than opinions and inferences. It may be helpful to jot down thoughts or questions that arise during the observation in a separate section, but the main focus should be on collecting data of observable student behavior and talk that relate to the student development and learning goals.


  • Relies on your senses
  • Specific,detailed, and clear
  • Transcription of exactly what you hear or see (to the best of your ability)
  • Includes student-­student talk, teacher-­student talk, student behaviors


  • Includes your interpretation of an observation
  • Makes judgments

Use a seating chart to help facilitate your note-­‐taking. The seating chart includes:

  • Seating arrangement
  • First names only
  • Gender