How to observe your students in 3 easy steps


People watching. I don't know anyone who does not like to people watch. Observing actions, words, and how a person interacts with others gives you so much insight into their world. I am a bit nosey and always want to know where they're going, what they're doing, and what they're thinking.

Do you observe your students like this? I have to admit, I am not the best at this. I am slowly getting better, but it's hard to put your 10 other things aside and just observe. So, I am making it a goal to observe my students for 10 minutes each day! I am going to set a timer, and I am going to write down what I see. Then, the next biggest step is to use the notes! These notes can be so valuable. It can give you insight on what your students are excited about and areas you can help them grow.

Below are 3 easy steps to help you do this same thing. Who wants to 'jump in' and use your observations to IGNITE your students?

1. Schedule time to observe

We all know it's hard to put away our other items on our to-do list and just watch someone. But it's important. Make a plan and add this valuable time into your plans. I will be adding this to my Smart Start time in the morning. This is a time where my students just play and engage in what they choose. This is a perfect time for me to watch what they gravitate towards, what they create, and imagine.

2. Takes Notes

Write down what you see. Does anyone else say, "Oh, I'll remember that!" and not write it down, and then think, "Man... I should've written that down!" HA! I do ALL.THE.TIME. This is great documentation for you and to share with parents. It's a way to show how their child has grown and areas they may not know are an interest to them. I will be using this document below to take notes. Feel free to use this super simple sheet to record your findings!

Student Observation Sheet

3. Use them to plan. Don't wait!

This may be the most valuable step! Use the notes you take to plan provocations, lessons, field trips, or outdoor explorations. If you miss your window, your students will be onto something new, and you will miss a valuable way to empower your students. What if your students have all different interests? That's ok, still plan something. Most likely others will get excited as well. They will begin to see that their voice and ideas are accepted and valued.

I can't wait to hear what ideas come out of your observations! When will you start? Jump in and join me!