March 09, 2020

What can be learnt from a lesson observation? – Bobo

What can be learnt from a lesson observation? How does this impact upon your strategies for behaviour management?

The lesson I observed was clearly structured and planned in terms of its prior learning, learning objective, and success criteria. The teacher checked on the students’ prior learning at the beginning of the lesson. They were asked to complete a task by the end of the lesson. The learning objective and success criteria were given orally and written on the board. According to the three-phase model of Positive Learning Framework (McDonald, 2013), the second phase for preventing negative behavior is the lesson design. McDonald (2013) also notes that having the lesson objectives and outcomes on the board can be extremely useful in building up a positive learning environment. Routine is also demonstrated as part of the lesson structure. For instance, students stacked their book bags at the center of the table right after they walked into the classroom. They were accustomed to this routine that they did not require any verbal reminder. According to Garrett’s case study, she observes that all teacher participants have a common trace of having routines and procedures in their classrooms. She later concludes that these characteristics help to “create productive, positive learning environments with minimal misbehavior and supportive, respectful relationships” (Garrett, 2008:42). For my adapted lesson plan after my observation, I have taken a more proactive measure for my behavioral strategy. I incorporate a routine and consistent structure in my lesson plans. Each activity consists of objectives and outcomes. The routine of my recent lessons includes a riddle activity at the beginning of the lesson, in which students can utilize this activity as a warmup speaking exercise and reset the atmosphere from the previous lesson they had.

The second element I have identified from my observation is the intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivational strategies used by the teacher. She triggered students’ curiosity in the form of an iPad self-learning activity. Students had to research online in groups to find answers on their own. McDonald (2013) claims that students tend to have a higher level of engagement with interactive activities and group work. He also mentions that engagement is part of the preventive stage of behavior management. On the other hand, the teacher that I observed also used an extrinsic form of motivation. She had a point system in the lesson to encourage desirable behavior. Garrett (2008) also notes in her case study that the use of extrinsic motivation has its value, particularly in times of preventing misbehavior. Concerning my behavioral management strategy, the observation has encouraged me to adopt a more diverse approach to behavior management. I have adjusted to a more hands-on activity approach in my lesson planning. In my science lessons, I have assigned more exploratory tasks and group work for students to keep them motivated and engaged during lessons. Meanwhile, I also use compliments and praise to address appropriate behavior.

Strategies for behavior management is a complex topic. Despite the numerous ways in which teacher trainees can benefit from observing lessons, lesson observation can have its limitations. As a teacher trainee, we opt to keep exploring and reflecting on different methods of managing behavior.


McDonald, T (2013), Classroom Management: Engaging Students in Learning. [online] Oxford University Press. Available from: (Accessed 29 October 2019).

Tracey, G (2008) Student- Centered and Teacher- Centered Classroom Management: A Case Study of Three Elementary Teachers. Journal of Classroom Interaction, 43 (1): 34-47

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