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Assessment of Classroom Teaching

Science Education
Virginia Tech
Intern:
Name of Lesson:
Observer:

Sarah Helweg
Enthalpy Changes
Mae Hey

Date:
Mar. 29, 2016
School/Grade: BHS/ Chemistry

1. How was the lesson constructed and organized?


When the students came in, the students found their seats. They were seated in groups at
lab tables. The materials were in plastic containers at the lab stations.
Ms. Helweg had the students pick up their activity sheets from the back of the room and
the students began the engage activity.
Ms. Helweg demonstrated the lighting of a match. She asked the students what happens
when a match is lit and what is released. She also asked if they believed the reaction was
endothermic or exothermic (after reviewing these terms) and why?
The students then began a lab activity assessing the amount of calories in different
common foods.
Ms. Helweg had the students stop the lab of the way through to give the them a few
notes to assist with the final phase of the lab.
The students then recommenced the lab and completed it in class.
2. What strategies did the teacher use for engaging students?
Ms. Helweg used a match (a common object) to activate the students prior knowledge
about endothermic and exothermic reactions.
Ms. Helweg and her cooperating teacher continuously circulated the room asking openended questions to differentiate instruction as well as provide helpful guidance for
completing the lab.
The activity utilized materials with which the students were familiar. The activity
captured their attention and kept them engaged throughout the entire class period.
Additionally, allowing the students to work in collaborative groups and construct their
knowledge socially created an engaging learning environment.
3. How did the teacher manage and monitor student learning?
Many factors contributed to there being no disruptions for behavior. First, he activity was
engaging, appropriate, and lasted the entire class period. Second, Ms. Helweg presents
herself as professional, knowledgeable, and genuinely concerned for the learning of her
students. Thirdly, circulating the room and working as a team with her cooperating
teacher gave every student the attention they required to learn and remain focused on the
activity. Finally, circulating the room allowed Ms. Helweg to personally interact with
each student and develop a supportive and reciprocal learning relationship.
Through circulating the room, Ms. Helweg was able to continuously informally assess
student learning.
At the end of the period, Ms. Helweg assigned the rest of the calculation on the lab for
homework to be collected during the subsequent class to more formally assess student
learning and to modify subsequent instruction to address alternative conceptions.
4. How did the students respond to the activities?
Throughout the class, all the participants (teachers and students) were actively engaged in

learning conversations. I believe they enjoyed the time they spent together learning the
material and participating in the activity.
The students actively created hypotheses about what they believed would happen next in
the activity. They were intrinsically motivated to participate through their own curiosities.
The students were genuinely surprised by what transpired during the lab activity. I heard
whoa! in surprise on more than one occasion.

5. What are suggestions for this lesson and for future planning?
The explain should be focused on the students explaining the sense they are making of
the concrete activities they are expericing. Students are most likely to remember
knowledge they construct on their own. Is there a way to make the notes portion more
interactive to evoke student idea generation rather than purely dispensing of information?
Dimming the lights may help to be able to see the SmartBoard easier.