A simple template for capturing Lesson Observations

When observing lessons, whether as part of a Lesson Study, collaborative planning, a learning walk or something more formal, it is, of course, essential to take notes on what you are seeing in the classroom. Scribbling notes in a notebook is simple, but if you need to “type it up” to formalise it, or even just to share it with other colleagues, that becomes another task on the to-do list and yet another burden on your time.  Better to take a laptop into the lesson with you so you at least have the undistllled notes in a digital format.

Here is a really simple Google Sheets template that adds a timestamp as you type the comments. I’m no expert in writing scripts but this guy is, so thanks Azad!

screen demo

It works like this:

  1. When you are ready to start select the Draft tab at the bottom.
  2. During the lesson, write in the Comments column. Each time you press enter it automatically fills in the Time column.
  3.  When you have finished, copy the cells you need from the Draft sheet to the Final sheet and fill in whatever other detail you need at the top.

I find that I tend to write a lot when doing lesson observations even though some of it isn’t relevant or worth sharing with the teacher.  I can easily delete that extraneous waffle by deleting rows from the Final sheet.

I have kept the template really simple, because I don’t like templates much.  However, it would be easy enough to adapt this to two columns, e.g. www, ebi if you wish.  Also, you can play around with the Final sheet to make it look like your school’s lesson observation template with all the extra fields you need in the space at the top.

Hope this works for you, please get in touch with any comments or to let me know how you are using it.




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