Procedure: Assess Classroom

Coaching Process > Assess Classroom

An essential part of the CCU is to gather objective data about the classroom that can be used to guide which strategies will be most useful to use in the classroom. The data comes from your interview with the teacher and from observations that you conduct in the classroom. In this section, you will develop an understanding of the key classroom management variables that are assessed in order to provide useful feedback to the teacher.

You will use all of the information you gather about the classroom to provide the teacher with personalized feedback during the Check-Up meeting.

Objective assessments of key classroom variables will be the foundation of your next meeting with the teacher.

There are five elements to gathering accurate and useful classroom information:

1) Tell the teacher what you will be observing in the classroom. This will help the teacher feel at ease.
2) Ensure that the information you gather will be confidential. The data you gather should be between you and the teacher and not shared in an evaluative manner. The information is intended to simply help support the teacher’s improvement in their skills.
3) Conduct more than one observation. More data across a few days can paint a better picture. Three observations are ideal, if possible.
4) Observe during the most challenging time of day. This will provide the most useful information.
5) Become proficient in gathering simple direct observation data on key classroom variables.

How To

You will conduct several classroom observations to assess several domains of important classroom management. Plan to observe in the classroom for a minimum of 30 minutes (or more) on at least two occasions. Three observations are ideal. Arrange to conduct observations during times the teacher reports to be the most challenging times of the day. If possible, arrange the observation so that you will be able to observe academic instruction, as well as transitions between subjects.

The following domains of classroom management will be targeted for observation, because research indicates that using effective classroom management strategies in these domains will reduce disruptive behavior and increase student success:

Concrete objective information within each of these domains can be gathered during a classroom observation visit. Using the CCU Classroom Assessment Rubric, you will score each item to determine if it is an area of concern that needs attention or an area of strength across the four classroom management domains. This information can be used to provide feedback to the teacher on the use of effective classroom management strategies.

The following breaks down each observation into setting up and beginning a classroom observation, gathering frequency data, scoring the CCU Feedback Survey, ending the observation, and combining information from multiple observations.


Setting Up & Beginning an Observation

Setting Up an Observation

Typically done at end of Getting to Know You Interview

Be sure to set up the observation time and day in advance with the teacher. You’ll want to observe during the most challenging times of the day to get a good sense of what is going well and what could be improved. You should plan on visiting the classroom for 30 minutes or more for each observation. During this time, you will want to see both academic instruction and transitions, if possible.

Describe to the teacher the purpose of the observation and what you will be looking for in the classroom.

Quotation Mark

The purpose of coming to observe in the classroom is to allow me to see how things are going in the classroom. I will be looking at how the students behave during instruction and during transitions, how the classroom is set up, and how you use praise and reprimands in your classroom. I will stay in the classroom for 30-40 minutes. After each observation, I will ask you if it was a typical day or not. When we feel I have seen several typical days, we will meet again and I will share the information I gathered with you. Then, we can decide on which new strategies you will want to try out in your classroom. Do you have any questions?

When I come to your classroom, I will be very discreet and not interact with you or the students. If you want to let the students know why I am visiting, we might tell them I am just here to see what they are learning in class. Sound OK?

Beginning an Observation

When you enter the classroom, discreetly let the teacher know you are there to observe. You may want to ask the teacher if the time still works for you to visit. Then, find an unobtrusive location in the classroom that allows you to view the teacher, students, and classroom setup.

Begin by scanning the classroom, making note of the physical layout of the room, noticing any areas of the room that are cluttered or where students may not be able to view the teacher. Look for posted classroom rules and a daily schedule and determine how materials are organized. If you need to walk around the room, do so quietly without interrupting normal activities in the classroom. Refrain (as much as possible) from getting into discussions with students.

Check-Up Rubric
Next, note the time so you know when you started and ended your observation. Using the Gathering Frequency Data Form, begin to tally the number of times you hear the teacher provide an academic opportunity to respond, use praise, use a reprimand, and the number of disruptive behaviors you observe. Make notes to describe the disruptive behaviors.

If you are good at multitasking, you may begin scoring the CCU Classroom Assessment Rubric. If not, wait until you have gathered 20 minutes of frequency data before scoring the rubric.

You may want to have a clipboard with you to hold the rubric as you score. Make notes as needed on the rubric form to allow for useful and accurate scores.


Gathering Frequency Data

You will gather frequency data on a number of teacher and student behaviors. The information will help guide which classroom management strategies will be most useful in a particular classroom.

Observing during a time when the teacher is providing students with instruction is best and will provide you with the most accurate and useful information. You will be looking for the following teacher and student behaviors:


  • What is it?
    • Teacher approval of desired student academic or social behaviors.
    • Two types:
      • General: praise statement that does not provide specific feedback (e.g., “Good job,” “Nice work”).
      • Behavior specific: praise statement that tells the student the behavior for which they are being praised (e.g., “Thank you for raising your hand”).
  • Why is it important?
    • Praise reduces off-task and disruptive behaviors and increases instructional time.
    • Behavior-specific praise makes teacher expectations clear, increases student motivation and sense of competence, and has the biggest benefits for reducing problem behaviors in the classroom.


  • What is it?
    • Teacher comments or gestures made by the teacher indicating disapproval of student behavior.
  • Why is it important?
    • Sets the emotional tone and climate of a classroom.


Ratio of Interactions

  • What is it?
    • The number of positive to negative interactions in a classroom.
    • Usually calculated as the number of total praise statements to reprimands in a given period of time.
  • Why is it important?
    • Higher rates of positive to negative interactions lead to more positive teacher-student relationships, higher rates of student compliance, and fewer classroom disruptions.
    • Well-functioning classrooms have positive to negative ratios of 3:1 or better.

Opportunities to Respond (OTR)

  • What is it?
    • Any time a teacher requests students to answer an academic question.
  • Why is it important?
    • Increasing the rates of opportunities for responding during instruction generates more learning, provides important feedback to the teacher, and increases on-task behavior.
    • Goal: 4-6 per minute for new material; 9-12 per minute for drill and practice.

Student Disruptions

  • What is it?
    • Statements or actions of an individual student or group of students that interfere with ongoing classroom activities.
  • Why is it important?
    • Disruptions interfere with instruction and cause stress for teachers and students.
    • Tracking disruptions is a good tool for monitoring whether classroom management strategies are working.

Classwide Student Engagement

  • What is it?
    • A snapshot of what percentage of students are on-task during a given period of time.
  • Why is it important?
    • Student engagement provides an indication of student interest in instructional content and activities.
    • Low student engagement can be addressed through changes in instructional pacing and design.
Observational Definitions
Assess Classroom - Observational Definitions
To do observations well, you need to have a clear definition of each variable that you are observing so you can know whether or not it happened. Review the Observational Definitions so that you can gather these data consistently and accurately. Notice that we provide clear examples and non-examples, because you need to know both what each variable is as well as distinguish what it is not.
Observation Form
Use the form on the front of the CCU Classroom Assessment Rubric to count the frequency of praise, reprimands, opportunities to respond, student disruptions, and classwide student engagement.
Below, we provide video examples of classrooms for you to practice. As you watch the videos, practice coding the frequency of behaviors. Use the form to enter your codes and then compare your responses to the responses of a master coder.
Scoring the Rubric

After gathering frequency data during the 20-minute observation, score the rubric using the information you gathered to inform your scores.

You will want to review the CCU Classroom Assessment Rubric in advance of beginning an observation. Become familiar with the layout and how each classroom management domain operationalizes the subsequent areas within each domain. The rubric is set up so that higher scores are better.

Areas receiving a “5” have all indicators in place and demonstrate an area of strength (green zone) in classroom management. Areas receiving a “3” have some indicators missing or not in place, demonstrating that this an area that could use improvement (yellow zone). Areas receiving a “0” have little to no indicators in place and are areas in need of attention (red zone).

Following scoring each indicator within the area, determine the best overall score for that area. For instance, the best overall score for use of praise in the example above would be a “3” or in the yellow as more of the indicators fell into this range. The indicators provide guidance to what you determine to be the best overall score for that observation. Notice for praise, that if no praise is provided, the observation earns a score of “0.”


Inputting the CCU Rubric Information into the Feedback Survey

After completing observations in the classroom and scoring the rubric based on these observations, it is time to input this data into the Feedback Survey. The Feedback Survey will go through each item on the CCU rubric. Use your scored rubric to enter the data. The statement you chose on the rubric will be the same statement you choose in the Feedback Survey.

Adding an Area to the Feedback Survey

On occasion, you may want to address an area of strength or weakness not indicated on the CCU rubric. You can add an “Other” category when completing the Feedback Survey. This will then populate on the teacher’s feedback form.

Once you complete the Feedback Survey, a feedback form for that teacher will populate and be ready for review (above on right). You will want to review the feedback form in advance of meeting with the teacher. As you review the feedback with your teacher, use examples from your observation to inform the discussion.

To review the feedback form, go to the My Teachers page and click on the Check-Up Feedback button for your teacher.

Classroom structure is a term that gives attention to the actual physical layout of a classroom, organization of materials in the classroom, and the extent to which classroom expectations and routines are explicitly defined and taught. Well-structured classrooms are predictable and organized.

You will score the classroom across four areas of classroom structure:

Physical Layout
When scoring physical layout, important indicators to observe are 1) traffic patterns or lack thereof in the classroom; 2) whether the room has clutter or not; 3) if the teacher can easily get to students as needed; 4) if all students can be seen in all areas of the classroom or if there are areas where students may be hidden from view; and 5) whether materials and supplies are organized, labeled, and easily accessible to students. See rubric below for minimal difference between indicators.

When observing in the classroom, consider how the physical layout and organization of the classroom may be optimized:

  • It is optimal to physically arrange classrooms with minimal barriers and plenty of open clear traffic patterns so that students and teachers can easily move around the classroom without disturbing other students while they are working.
  • A good physical layout allows teachers to actively supervise student behavior and academic progress on instructional activities.
  • Classroom materials are labeled, organized, and easily accessible to all students.
Classroom Rules
When scoring classroom rules, important indicators to observe are 1) the number of rules; 2) if and where the classroom rules are posted; 3) whether the rules are specific, observable, positively stated (telling what to do rather than what not to do), and concise; 4) if the students appear to understand the behavioral expectations based on the rules; and 5) whether the teacher consistently enforce the rules. For younger children, it is helpful if visuals are displayed alongside rules that demonstrate what the words mean.

When observing in the classroom, consider how the classroom rules may be optimized:

  • Effective classroom rules are positively stated, specific, observable, and concise.
  • Students display the expected behavior because the rules have been taught and reviewed as needed.
  • Practicing the rules is helpful, particularly when large numbers of students are not displaying the expected behaviors.
  • Teacher gives a lot of behavior-specific praise and positive attention to students for following the rules.
  • Classroom rules are consistently enforced by the teacher.
Classroom Routines
When scoring classroom routines, important indicators to observe are 1) whether the behavior routines are posted; 2) whether the expectations for the routines are specific, positively stated (telling what to do rather than what not to do) and observable; 3) whether they are developmentally appropriate (i.e., visual prompts used, not overly complicated for young children); and 4) whether the students seem to understand the routines and expectations.

Classroom Routines ExampleWhen observing in the classroom, consider how the classroom routines may be optimized:

  • Routines work best when the behavioral expectations for each routine are defined so that they are developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, positively stated, specific, and observable.
  • Students learn routines when they are explicitly taught and reviewed.
  • The teacher provides positive attention to students when they effectively demonstrate the routines using praise or rewards.
  • Having visual prompts of the classroom routines displayed is very useful, keeping each routine to the fewest steps possible.
Smooth Transitions
When scoring smooth transitions, important indicators to observe are 1) whether the teacher provides a prompt to begin the transitions; 2) whether the teacher tells the students what the transition should look like prior to having the students transition (precorrection); 3) whether or not the teacher used a signal to gain the student’s attention and if the students understood the attention signal; 4) whether the routines used during the transition are efficient; 5) the amount of time the transition takes; 6) the level of disruptive behavior during the transition and whether the teacher has to redirect the students; and 7) whether the teacher provides attention (e.g., behavior-specific praise) to students who transition smoothly.

When observing in the classroom, consider how classroom transitions may be optimized:

  • Smooth transitions use efficient routines that quickly get students to the next task, losing little time for instruction.
  • Teacher explicitly teaches students how to transition smoothly and provides practice as needed.
  • Teacher uses effective attention signals which are taught to students to gain their attention before transitions begin.
  • Teacher provides precorrections to tell students exactly what to do prior to a transition occurring.
  • Teacher provides behavior-specific praise to students as they transition smoothly to the next task.

Reflection & Tips:

CP2: Assess Classroom - Reflection
Take a moment to reflect on your skills and comfort in assessing the classroom.

References to Other Relevant Resources:

Reinke, W., Herman, K., & Sprick, R. (2011). Motivational interviewing for effective classroom management: The classroom check-up. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Sprick, R. (2009). CHAMPS: A proactive and positive approach to classroom management. Eugene, OR: Pacific Northwest Publishing.

▴ Classroom Structure

What is Classroom Structure?

Classroom structure is a term used to describe the actual physical layout of a classroom, organization of materials in the classroom, and the extent to which classroom expectations and routines are explicitly defined and taught. Well-structured classrooms are predictable and organized.
Quotation mark
Crowded and cluttered classrooms can set the stage for problem behaviors.

Why is it important?

Well-structured classrooms increase efficiency, leaving more time for instruction and the promotion of positive academic and social behaviors among students. These include increased student attention, friendlier peer interactions, and less disruptive behavior and aggression.
Quotation mark
Well-structured classrooms have established routines that align with classroom rules and expectations.

Concentration Areas

Physical Layout
Classroom Rules
Classroom Routines
Smooth Transitions

Behavior Management

What is Behavior Management?

Behavior management is a term used to give attention to classroom strategies that respond to student behaviors and the extent to which these are done consistently. Effective behavior management is NOT about gaining student compliance. Instead, effective behavior management includes strategies to promote positive classroom behaviors and prevent problems before they occur, while responding to misconduct in a calm and consistent manner.
Quotation mark
Effective behavior management is proactive, placing emphasis on preventing problems rather than waiting to punish behaviors after they occur.

Why is it important?

Effective behavior management practices are linked to improvements in student social behavior and academics. Ineffective behavior management in the classroom can interfere with academic instruction, increase student risk for emotional and behavior problems, and lead to high levels of teacher stress.

Concentration Areas

Behavioral Expectations Clear
Active Supervision
Use of Praise
Use of Reprimands
Positive to Negative Ratio
Used Variety of Reinforcement

■ Instruction Management

What is Instruction Management?

Instructional management is a term used to give attention to teacher preparation of academic lessons and the extent to which academic instruction is rigorous, relevant, and delivered at a pace appropriate to the content. Effective instructional management keeps students engaged in learning and decreases disruptive or off-task student behaviors.
Quotation mark
Brisk pacing during teacher-led instruction has been shown to decrease problem behavior and increase academic achievement.

Why is it important?

There is a direct link between how instruction is delivered in a classroom and the behavior of students. Developmentally appropriate academic opportunities (i.e., those that are not too easy or too difficult) provide students mastery experiences that increase their academic efficacy. Further, when students are engaged in academic instruction, they have higher levels of achievement.

Concentration Areas

Schedule Posted and Followed
Academic Objectives Clear
Student Accuracy
Student Engagement

Classroom Climate

What is Classroom Climate?

Classroom climate is a term used to give attention to a constellation of factors including teacher-student interactions, teacher tone, student-student interactions, the overall level of respect for one another, and classroom orderliness.
Quotation mark
Having positive, respectful teacher-student relationships is the foundation to effective classroom management.

Why is it important?

Positive classroom climates are ones in which students feel important, supported, respected, and valued. Classroom climates that foster effective teacher-student relationships are associated with increased academic engagement and student satisfaction with school. Climates where students do not feel respected or valued lead to student disengagement in school, resulting in higher levels of disruptive behavior.

Concentration Areas

Use of Noncontingent Attention
Interactions with Students
Level of Disruptive Behavior

Example 2: Teacher Interview

Video Prompts

  • This teacher discusses the struggle between getting through academic work and building relationships.
  • She reflects on how building relationships can actually save time later on.

Reflecting On Video

  • How important is relationship building to you when working with your students?
  • What are some ideas for what you can do in your classroom to build positive relationships with even the students who are hardest to reach?

Example 1: Hug

Video Prompts

  • This teacher greets every student as they come in the door in the morning.
  • Notice how the teacher states each student’s name.
  • Notice that students choose how they want to be greeted by receiving a hug or high five. This allows all the students to feel comfortable with the greeting.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how this teacher greeted each student as they arrived?
  • How might you go about greeting each student?
  • What do you think the benefits are to greeting students every day?

Greeting Students at the Door

Using Journals to Build Relationships

Identifying Reinforcers for the Classroom

Example 2: Sharing

Video Prompts

  • A student is concerned about a peer using his pencil.
  • Notice how the teacher prompts possible solutions with a focus toward the students “doing their number one job.”
  • Notice how, despite the fact that the boy does not choose to share, the teacher compliments the peer who chose to give the pencil to the boy.
  • Notice how she points out that Sofia (peer) was so kind and was a good friend.
  • Notice how she calmly discusses how the boy in the video could think about sharing in the future.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how this teacher used coaching to help the students solve the problem?
  • What might you do differently?
  • How do you see yourself using social-emotional coaching in your classroom?

Example 1: Problem Solving

Video Prompts

  • The students in this video are working together on an activity. One student comments that others are cheating.
  • Notice how the teacher recognizes the problem from across the room (see Using Active Supervision).
  • Notice how she prompts the students to find the solution.
  • Notice how she makes sure all the students understand the activity before leaving to help other students.
  • Her use of praise following a student responding helps to get other students on task and makes it more likely that students will respond quickly in the future.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how this teacher used coaching to help the students solve the problem?
  • What might you do differently?
  • How do you see yourself using social-emotional coaching in your classroom?

Using Social and Emotional Coaching

Example 3: Learner Look

Video Prompts

  • Listen for the behavior-specific praise statement, “I like how Brooke is ready to go with her learner look.”
  • Notice how this teacher provides feedback to the students who are demonstrating they are ready by having a “learner look.”
  • The “learner look” would be taught to the students by the teacher prior to use (see Teaching Behavior Expectations).

Reflecting On Video

  • How can using behavior-specific praise help get students not ready to get on task more quickly?
  • What did you like about how the teacher used behavior-specific praise?
  • How do you think it made that student feel?
  • How might other students respond after hearing the teacher?
  • How might you use this strategy in your classroom?

Example 2: Calling on Student

Video Prompt

  • Watch how this teacher uses behavior-specific praise when calling on a student to answer a question.

Reflecting On Video

  • How does using behavior-specific praise make it clear to students what the expectation is at that time?

Example 1: Whole Class Compliment

Video Prompts

  • In this video, you will see a teacher using several strategies, including providing behavior-specific praise.
  • Notice how she uses both individual and group opportunities to respond (see Increasing Opportunities to Respond).
  • Listen for when the teacher says, “Let’s give Bailey a big hand for doing such a good job,” prompting the whole class to compliment a student.
  • Lastly, notice how she uses behavior-specific praise (“I like the way people are raising their hands.“) to let students know it is important to raise their hands to answer.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how this teacher used praise in her classroom?
  • How do you think Bailey felt when her class recognized her good work?
  • How might you incorporate some of what you saw in this video into your daily teaching?

Using Behavior-specific Praise

Example 3: Private Comments

Video Prompts

  • Notice how the teacher checks in with each student as they do independent work.
  • She comments on their work, provides feedback as needed, and gives a lot of praise privately to each student.

Reflecting On Video

  • How do you think the students felt as the teacher privately gave each praise or commented on their work?
  • What did you like about the way the teacher used active supervision here?
  • How might you incorporate some of what you saw in this video into your daily teaching?

Example 2: Moving Between Desks

Video Prompts

  • Notice how the teacher moves around the room between the desks, commenting on the work she sees as she goes.
  • Notice how the teacher provides behavior-specific praise (“I see very neat and pretty writing. Good job.“).

Reflecting On Video

  • How do you think the way the teacher moved around the room and commented on the work helped to keep students on task?
  • What did you like about the way the teacher actively supervised the students’ work?
  • What could you do to make it easier for you to move around your classroom and use active supervision?

Example 1: Dot Charts

Video Prompts

  • This video demonstrates a teacher using dot charts during active supervision.
  • Notice how the teacher comments on the student’s work, provides feedback, and then puts a dot on the student’s chart. When the chart is full, the student knows they will earn a reward.

Reflecting On Video

  • How might using dot charts with your students help keep them engaged in their work?
  • What did you like about the way the teacher used active supervision here?
  • How might you incorporate some of what you saw in this video into your daily teaching?

Using Active Supervision

The Good Behavior Game: Rule - No Talking

Video Prompts

  • Notice how the teacher introduces the game to the class and breaks them into groups.
  • The Good Behavior Game helps teach student self-regulation by having them inhibit or not display misbehavior. If misbehavior occurs, the team earns a point.
  • Notice how the teacher explains the rule for that day.
  • The teacher also lets the student know how long the game will occur and what the reward will be for the team with the fewest points.
  • Notice that the teacher allows the students to ask questions before the game begins.
  • Notice that the teacher provides the reward immediately at the end of the game.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how this teacher used the Good Behavior Game?
  • How might you use the Good Behavior Game in your classroom?

Using Group Contingencies

Voice Level

Video Prompts

  • This teacher has already taught her students to use a number system to monitor the level of sound they should be using during an activity.
  • In this video, as she is passing out an assignment, she provides a precorrection to a make sure the students use the appropriate level of their voice (level 1 no more than level 2).

Reflecting On Video

  • How might giving this prompt prevent students from inadvertently being too loud during the assignment?
  • What did you like about how the teacher helped the students determine what level of sound was appropriate?
  • What activities or times of the day would it be useful to provide your students with a precorrection so that students know what to do before problems occur?

Using Precorrection

Teaching Behavior Expectations

Providing Academic Feedback

Example 4: Show Answers on Chest

Video Prompts

  • This teacher provides an opportunity to respond by letting all students answer the question and show her on their chest.
  • Notice how quickly the students respond, providing the teacher with quick feedback on whether everyone understands.

Reflecting On Video

  • What do you like about this way of having students answer?

Example 3: Yes Knocks

Video Prompts

  • This is an example of a teacher using “yes knocks” for students to respond to an academic question.

Reflecting On Video

  • How might you use this type of opportunity to respond in your classroom?
  • What would you do if students were not responding correctly?

Example 2: White Board

Video Prompts

  • This lesson demonstrates using white boards during math story problems.
  • Notice how the teacher uses a fast pace and lets the students know when they have completed the answer correctly.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how this teacher provided academic questions and gave students feedback?
  • How did she make fairly complicated math problems fun and interactive?
  • How might you incorporate some of what you saw and liked about how she explained the lesson in your classroom?

Example 1: Individual and Choral Responding

Video Prompts

  • Notice how she moves around the classroom as she asks questions of individual students.
  • She intersperses praise and describes what the students are doing well throughout.
  • She also asks the students to read and respond together.
  • She asks 14 OTRs in just over one minute. Wow!

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how the teacher included so many students and asked so many academic questions?
  • Why do you think the students were so engaged?
  • How might you incorporate some of what you saw and liked about from this video into your classroom practice?

Increasing Opportunities to Respond

Reviewing Writing Assignment

Video Prompts

  • Notice how she asks both individual questions and gets the attention of the room by saying, “I am looking for my active listener.
  • She tells them what book she will be reading, “Seeds to Plants,” when they return from lunch.
  • Notice how she describes what the students will be required to do on the handout. She engages the class by asking questions along the way.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how the teacher explained the objectives of the handout?
  • How do you think the students in that class are feeling?
  • How might you incorporate some of what you saw and liked about how she explained the lesson in your classroom?

Developing and Using Clear Academic Objectives

Reviewing the Schedule

Video Prompts

  • Notice how this teacher reviews the schedule for the day with the students first thing in the morning.
  • This teacher demonstrates writing in cursive (a skill the class is working on) while going over the schedule.
  • She also provides opportunities to respond (see Increasing Opportunities to Respond) by asking them to read the words as she writes them.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how the teacher reviewed the schedule for the day?
  • How could this be helpful to students?
  • How might you incorporate a review of the schedule into your mornings?

Posting and Using a Schedule

Coaching Process – Menu of Options

Coaching Process – Providing Feedback

Coaching Process – Introduction and Overview

Observation Practice 4

Observation Practice 3

Observation Practice 2

Observation Practice 1

Verbal with Hand Signal

Video Prompts

  • The students in this video are very excited about the activity. The teacher uses an attention signal that uses both her voice and a hand signal. Notice how quickly the students respond.
  • Notice that the teacher provides behavior-specific praise to the students who respond (see Using Behavior Specific Praise)
  • Her use of praise following a student responding helps to get other students on task and makes it more likely that students will respond quickly in the future.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about how this teacher used this attention signal?
  • How could you use a similar attention signal to help with transitions or giving instruction to your students?


Video Prompts

  • This video shows a teacher using hand claps to gain the attention of the students before a transition.
  • Notice how the students clap back to show they know it is time to transition.
  • After gaining the attention of the students the teacher gives very specific directions so the students can transition smoothly.

Reflecting On Video

  • What did you like about this attention signal?
  • How does using a signal like this help students transition to the next task smoothly?
  • How might you incorporate this or other attention signals into your daily teaching?

Using an Attention Signal

Teaching Classroom Routines

Physical Classroom Structure

Values Card Sort – Example

Card Sort Introduction

Coaching – Interview Guide

Opening the Meeting

Defining and Teaching Classroom Rules

Mrs. James

Miss Faber