You are a principal conducting an informal observation of Ms. Avery’s eighth grade history classroom. It is the last 10 minutes of class and upon entering the classroom, you observe Ms. Avery seated behind her desk and the students working independently on a worksheet pertaining to the Civil War. Approximately one-third of the students are working independently, one-third are working in pairs or small groups, and one-third are not working on the assignment at all. The students not working on the assignment are using electronic devices, chatting quietly or just sitting.
When Ms. Avery sees you enter the room, she stands up, tells the students that they have five more minutes to finish the class work, and proceeds to move around the classroom checking to see how far along students are on the worksheet. With five minutes left in the period, she asks students to return to their seats, which they do quickly, and she proceeds to go over the classwork in a whole group setting. Ms. Avery asks students randomly to share their answers and takes a few clarifying questions from the class. The students’ ticket out the door is to write down on a scale of 1-4 how comfortable they are with their understanding of the Civil War.
What clarification questions would you ask Ms. Avery? What constructive feedback would you present to Ms. Avery?