I’m knackered… It’s just past seven and i feel so exhausted. Just not used to being in school anymore, and I actually find it much more tiring to observe a lesson, than being actively involved. Today I mainly observed year 5 and year 6 in English and Danish.
Anyway, what did I observe in general?
kids call their teacher by their first name
kids get into school and take their shoes off
school starts with assembly (all the kids singing a song)
students spend much more time (almost 80%) working on their own
there’s a toilet in every classroom
cellphones are allowed – teachers don’t consider themselves as police
students use material created by their teacher, not so much exercise books
two PCs in every classroom
students read for their entertainment
regular library hours
students are together from year 1-9
It’s too early to draw any conclusions, but what striked me most was that error correction [in english] didn’t take place. Nevertheless the students did really good in an overall performance. They read books to each other, and worked indepedently, e.g. The class went to the school library and chose books for themselves that they like to read and were given plenty of time to read in class. They played little games as brain break and moved around quite a bit. Their homework was often things like ‚write 8 sentences about an animal‘ – there was plenty of room for one’s own creativity and the results were very different. All work has been praised equally – even though there were major differences. Another assignment was to read for 20min and do the corresponding exercises, there was no „you have to read up to chapter 6“. It seems like whatever they do, is just fine. Maybe this is internal differentiation par excellence, I was surprised that there was no final „official“ solution. But than again, this is just a first impression…
In general, the lessons seem to be more laid back and less planed to the minute. In addition, I noticed that the layout of the classroom was very different, some kids were actually facing the wall. I guess, it helps them to stay focused.
I expected to see more technology-based teaching, but nope, it was all paper and blackboard (well, i had wifi) But what I really liked that the teacher had plenty of time to focus on the individual student. When I talked to the head of middle school Lone about my first impressions, she said to me something, that needs to be taken in…
we let our students be who they are, and then we teach them.