How to Write an Observation Report for a Classroom

With the concerns about the state of education today, many education public policymakers see a need for increased supervision of schools. They suggest more classroom observation as a way to refine teachers' skills and strengthen the activities in classrooms throughout the country. Teachers have a right to expect that competent observers will enter their classrooms and provide them with constructive feedback through their observations. Parents also have a right to expect that observers will provide helpful reports that will raise the level of their childrens' education. Observers must prepare to write comprehensive reports that will give assistance and guidance.

Choose the type of observation report to write. Options include scale assessments, open-ended reports and worksheet reports of observed classrooms.

Write a report that evaluates the classroom lessons' organization. Lessons should include compelling introductions, good transitions, understandable material, clear instructions for the students to work on, related individual activities and a clear summary that leads the students to anticipate any follow-up lessons.

Write a review of the classroom lesson's content. Observe and comment about the clarity and variety in the presentation of the lesson's main ideas, the presentation of supporting information, the lesson's relevancy and the demand for students to engage in different types of thinking as part of the lesson.

Write observations of whether the teacher presents her classroom lessons' learning objectives clearly to the students, whether the teacher fully explains any assignments relating to the lessons and whether the teacher has created objective evaluation tools to assess the success of the lessons.

Note in the observation report the inclusion of alternative methods of instruction in the classroom's lessons. Many teachers prefer to instruct frontally, but teachers should bring in audio-visual materials, worksheets, Internet sources and outside speakers to strengthen lesson plans and motivate the students.

Write observations of how the instructor makes allowances for different learning styles and attention spans among the students in his lesson plans. Recommend ways to increase student engagement via learning styles. Share tips on how to make a lesson more appealing to a visual learner, an audio learner or a kinesthetic learner. If you noticed a particularly good strategy he used, point it out, and give tips on how to transfer that to other areas of the classroom. On the other hand, if the teacher is not making accommodations for different styles of learning, this must be addressed and suggestions made to incorporate different methods. For example, if the teacher is only delivering a lesson via technology (visual and audio learner), suggest that he include a movement-based or hands-on activity for the kinesthetic learner.

Evaluate the teacher's overall preparedness for lessons in the report, her ability to involve students in planning and implementing lessons and her ability to enthuse her students as she teaches in the classroom. This is also a good time to give feedback about additional strategies you think she should try. A good evaluation should always include tips on how to be a more effective teacher.