You are on page 1of 5

Mathews Elementary School is a nice school. The outside is nice and clean, and the inside is very welcoming.

Ms. McHughs third grade classroom, Room 310, tops it off! Her classroom is awesome. It is colorful, inviting, organized, and relaxed. When you walk in, you can see everything. Against the wall by the door, there are cubbies for the children to keep their textbooks in, and hooks on the wall below for their book bags. I like having book bags in a separate place, so students will not be distracted by things they do not need at that point during the day. There is also a bathroom in the classroom. From the front of the classroom, it is located in the back left corner of the classroom. Students can use it during class, and only if the time is appropriate unless it is an emergency. There is a sign-in sheet on the door; they sign in with their numbers. When they are done, they draw an X over their numbers to show they are done. This is done so that Ms. McHugh can keep track of who goes to the restroom during class, how many times, and in case of messes, this makes someone take responsibility for his or her actions. The desks are arranged in four groups; each group has five desks. When Ms. McHugh picked the groups, she mixed the students up. She put some low, some average and some high at each group. One of the boys in the class is seated in a desk facing forward by himself, not in a group. He easily gets distracted, so Ms. McHugh keeps him close by so she can keep him on task. Each group has a number, one through four, and this is the teachers way of calling students by group: Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, and Group 4. She uses this anything time she is calling a group to line up or to come to the carpet. The carpet is a grid. It has five rows, all a different color: red, orange, green, purple, and blue.

When students leave the carpet, Ms. McHugh dismisses them by the color row they are sitting on. In front of the carpet and at the very front of the classroom, there is a Smartboard. This piece of technology is very neat. The teacher can use her hands to do navigate the Smart board; she can select and click things with her hands. There are colored markers that are not really markers, but they write just like a marker. I wish we would have had these while I was in school; they really add to learning and keep students engaged. Also, there are four computers at the back of the room. Ms. McHugh assigns each student a day for their computer time, and this is during guided reading time. The teacher alternates groups at her table for guiding reading and computer time. During computer time, the students work in a program called Compass. It includes many activities that build many different concepts, and helps prepare students for MAP testing and PASS testing. Ms. McHugh uses a horseshoe table as her desk. These are two tall bookshelves behind this table where the teacher stores her resources and books for read aloud and guided reading. She also uses a table beside the Smartboard that she has her laptop on. There also is a tool called an Elmo projector. It is similar to an overhead projector, but more up to date. Also, transparencies are not necessary. It displays anything (paper, objects, etc.) placed under its lens. There is a hearing impaired student in the classroom, so Ms. McHugh has to wear a microphone. There is a large speaker at the back of the room on the counter, close to the student with a hearing impairment. The speaker projects the

sounds very clearly and loud enough to hear. I have never seen it before, and I like that the school is using technology and doing anything they can to help children with disabilities. The walls are informally divided into sections by subject. Ms. McHugh has subject labels hanging on the walls in different areas: math, reading, science, social studies, etc. Under or around each label, she hangs up chart paper with notes they have taken in those areas. I like that she displays large copies, so that when she refers back to them, the students do not have to flip through their notebooks to find the right notes. They can easily look up on the wall. All around the room in various places, Ms. McHugh has pictures of her, her friends and family, and her students over the years. What I think is really neat is that Ms. McHugh has pictures of some students she had last year, and she has them again this year. Half of her class is from last year. She was in second grade last year, and was moved to third grade this year. I think this made things easier on her, because she knew the students and they knew her and her classroom management. When it comes to parental involvement, the range is huge. Some students parents stay in contact: write notes, schedule meetings, help with homework, etc. Then, some of the parents are nearly invisible. It is sad, but the students school work often reflects parental involvement. The secretary at Mathews, Mrs. Starla, often helps Ms. McHugh and her class. Mrs. Starlas granddaughter is in the class. Then, there is one little boy who needs medicine to help control is ADD. He comes to school every day and Ms. McHugh never knows if he has taken his medicine. His medicine schedule is so inconsistent, and Ms. McHugh and Mathewss case manager have contacted the parent numerous times. Each

time, there is an excuse; the craziest excuse I have heard is that someone came and stole his medicine. It breaks my heart for this student, and other students whose parents are hardly involved in their education. The students are diverse in many areas, like ethnicity, academically, and interests. There are eight girls and thirteen boys. The majority of the class is African-American boys. In the class, there are thirteen African-American students (nine boys, four girls), five Caucasian students (two boys and three girls), and three Hispanics (two boys, one girl). Academically, the students are on a broad range. Some students are extremely high, and some are extremely low. It is challenging for Ms. McHugh, but she is awesome at addressing this range. Four students are pulled for extra help in various areas; one is an ELL student, one is hearing impaired, and the other two have had medical issues and missed a lot of school in previous years. Each day, in Ms. McHughs class schedule, there is an hour set aside for guided reading. Guided reading addresses all students in different ways. Students are grouped based off of their reading abilities and what they need help with. Also, Ms. McHugh likes to address students interests, so she likes to choose diverse books that will be of interest to the students. She mixes up what topics she chooses. While Ms. McHugh is doing guided reading groups, she has certain rules that the students must abide by. The students must read independently for about fifteen minutes, and then they can move to their assigned work stations. The classroom work stations are computer (Compass), media center, class library, or teacher assignment: grammar, math,

science, and social studies. Students have their own individual schedule in their work station folder. All of the work stations reinforce concepts that have been previously learned. During this time, the students are not to come to Ms. McHughs table unless it is an emergency. She gives them the cues they need: going to workstations, going to the library, etc. She tries to get through at least two reading groups per day. Her goal is to move up to at least three per day, but she often has other things that get in the way of her having the entire hour for guided reading. When teaching lessons, it is important to remember the diversity in the classroom. Ms. McHugh wears a microphone for the hearing impaired child. To add to this, she often looks at him and asks, Can you hear me? Are you getting this? Are you paying attention? Also, for the ESOL students, when Ms. McHugh calls on them to answer, she helps them say the answer properly. Specifically, one ESOL student struggles in both Spanish and English, and Ms. McHugh often makes him repeat after her. The student who sits alone has behavior problems. She gives him special treatment compared to the other students. She tries to keep him under her wing so that he will cooperate and stay focused. He stays at his desk when all other students go to the carpet. A lot of days, he sits with Ms. McHugh at lunch. She tries to build a strong relationship with him; that is the key to helping him and all students succeed.