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Off-Campus Observation Map



David Cardona


Name of School Miami Beach Senior High School

Town Miami Beach

Name of Teacher Observed Joshua Figueroa

Observation Date November 24th

Describe the teaching

environment. Who are the
children? Who is the teacher?
How might the school environment
impact what happens in the

What were the teachers goals for

the class/ensemble? How did
she/he act on those?

What teaching/rehearsal
strategies did you see? What was
the learning sequence?

State Fl

Class Jazz band/ Beginning band

Time 8a.m.-10a.m.

Grade(s) 9-12

Date Submitted 11/25/14

The environment of the classroom is very laidback. Students are on their phones and some choose not to play or
engage in classroom activities. The teacher engages very well with the jazz band class but does not put much effort
into the beginning band class. If you walk around the music area you will see students who are hanging out in the
hallways who should be in class. This caught my attention because there was a large number of them and security
did not say anything to them. In a way this could be part of the reason why the environment in the music
classroom ends up being so laid back.
The teachers goals for jazz band are to get them to understand rhythms and articulations such as Do, Da, Dit, and
Dat, so that they can apply it to all music. He would like for them to receive a superior at district and state level
such as they have been doing for 5 years. Mr. Figueroa have a few handout exercises that go over these tonguing
fundamentals and they went over them as they warmed up. The beginning band had a goal to retain a large
number of first year musicians and move them up into other ensembles such as marching band, concert band, and
jazz band. His goal was to get them to read everything out of the standard of excellence book.
Students would start off in every classroom with fundamentals on an easy exercise, then they would transition to
the actual music and he would ask them to keep the concepts they already went over, a concept I refer to as
transfer of learning. Only few students really picked up on it, thy were not ready as a whole to play music that
difficult. The semester is already halfway over and they are still on the first exercises in the method book and dont
know much about the instrument theyre playing.

The lesson was missing a little more hands on instruction and vocabulary that the students could understand. He

What would you do differently?

was talking to the beginning band like they were students taking lessons and most of them didnt have any idea
What was missing from the lesson?

what he was talking about. Maybe some good analogies would have aided the students in understanding what the
professor wants every time they take the piece again.

What evidence did you observe

that would indicate that the
learning goals were met?

There was not much that I saw that would support the statement that the goals he had set were reached or even
breached. I think the way he teaches he usually has them grasp the concepts by the time they have evaluations in
the late spring. Of course not all students had trouble, a good 20% were following with the lesson and its content,
but many students were left behind.

What evidence of critical thinking,

critical feeling and/or critical action
did you see?

Mr. Figueroa had an exercise in which the students would play the same thing and translate it into the key that the
professor would call out. At first the students had trouble but eventually it got them to really think about the key
and use knowledge they already had (they knew all their scales) and translate it.

What National Standards did you


The processes of critiquing works of art lead to development of critical-thinking skills transferable to other contexts.

How did students engage in the

classroom? What was happening
at the time when students were
really focused?

During the exercise where the students were asked to change keys, everyone was very focused. As soon as that
small segment of the lesson ended, the students were lost again and the focus of the classroom again became
those students who stood out and really understood what was going on.

Describe a "teachable moment"

that you might have witnessed.

When asked to transfer techniques to other pieces, There was a couple times where the class looked engaged and

What constructive comments might you make about this lesson/rehearsal?

Very good at engagening with the jazz band. Obviously he is a jazz musician and through his experiences,
knows how to engage with them in that setting. In beggining band, pay a little more attention to the students
who need help and are not grasping the concepts. Students shut down and stop trying when they feel left out
or like the few who do get it are getting a lot of praise and are being accepted by the teacher.

What is our overall assessment of this teacher, the students and the lesson/rehearsal?

Overall, The teacher was good. I would not engage with my classroom the same way. The students are not
used to a focused environment and get easily distracted or discouraged. The rehearsal had to many breaks
and did not aknowledge all the students as much as I wouldve liked to have seen.