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Curriculum and Instruction

"What to Look For" Observation Guides

To provide additional support to help district and school staff identify what should be observed in particular content-area classrooms, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), in partnership with educators in the field, has developed a suite of straightforward observation guides for grades 1-8 (K-8 for English Language Arts (ELA)).

These "What to Look For" guides describe what observers should expect to see in a classroom at a particular grade level in a specific subject area. This includes the knowledge and skills students should be learning and using (as reflected in state learning standards) on the front of the page and best practices related to classroom curriculum, instruction, and assessment for each subject area on the back of the page.

The observation guides are particularly useful to observers who may not have the subject matter experience to know what to look for in classrooms outside of their personal background. The "What to Look For" guides are not designed to replace any evaluation system or tools districts currently use, but are a resource to help classroom observers efficiently identify what teachers and students should be experiencing in specific subjects and grade levels.

  • When printing the guides, please be sure that Fit to Page or Scale to Fit is selected from the print options.

  English Language Arts (ELA) Mathematics Science
Pre-K     Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Kindergarten Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document   Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 1 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 2 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 3 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 4 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 5 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 6 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 7 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Grade 8 Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document

Your feedback regarding these guides is welcomed and appreciated. Please send your comments to candi@doe.mass.edu.

Other Resources



Last Updated: March 23, 2017
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