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Contextual Factors Classroom Factors Mathews Elementary is located in Greenwood, SC. Mathews is public school apart of District 50 in Greenwood County. Mathews motto is where children think, dream, believe and achieve. Students may attend from the grades of K5 to 5th grade. Mathews also offers Montessori education for a variety of different age students. Students are required to show a birth certificate, SC Certificate of Immunization records, social security card and proof of residence to enroll into school at Mathews. Mathews has a school improvement council conducted of the principal, elected parents, community partners and teachers. The council helps set school goals, school renewal plan, and school budget decisions. The school is over saw by the local school board of Greenwood County. Physical Features/ Classroom Arrangement The classroom is located on the yellow hall, which also has Kindergarten and other 1st grade classrooms. The classroom has full access to a bathroom and sink. The students are allowed to go to the restroom on their own time but not during lessons. Each child is assigned to an individual desk. The desks are arranged in three groups. Each group is assigned to a color including green, red and orange. There are four students whose desks are independently arranged alone due to past behavior situations. When students enter into the classroom, they are to place their jackets and book bags on the hooks on the wall. Each student is assigned to a certain hook and space. There are centers sets up for a set time between activities. There is a reading center that always has on display the book the students have been reading in whole group. Also there at another center is a basket of books for all reading levels. The basket is available for the students to choose from when independent reading. The technology center has four computers set up and running for the students to participate in. For example, the program could be currently on working on vowels ea and oa. There is also a writing center for the students to work with manipulative letters, writing dry erase boards and expo markers to use to work on their spelling words. The teacher has a crescent table where she works in small groups for guided reading. The classroom is very assessable for all the children to move freely around and still maintain their needed space. Availability of Technology The students have availability to the SMARTboard during lessons. The teacher uses the SMARTboard in all subjects and allows the students to participate using the SMARTboard. As stated before, the students have a computer center. The center contains four computers and students are allowed to participate in educational programs. The students attend the computer lab once a week. They learn many different skills including typing. Equipment The classroom has a laptop used to help the teacher use the SMARTboard. The classroom has a cubby for individual work for each child to use if necessary. There are also four computers for students access. The teacher has a crescent table used during guided reading and small groups. When entering the classroom, there is a

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small table that contains supplies the students may need including glue, scissors, pencils, crayons and tape. Learning Environment The students have a very relaxed and independent environment. The teacher allows the students to work at their own pace with some needed guidance. The students have been working lately on learning how to change a verb into past tense by adding ed. The students are allowed to write in their writing journals about things that interest them. When the teacher gives a morning assignment the students are to write about a certain category but they are still able to express themselves. For example this mornings assignment was for students to talk about what they would do if they lived in a snow globe. Students were allowed to write three sentences about their life in a snow globe. The teacher allows them to freely write but helped direct them by correcting simple grammar and spelling. The classroom is filled with posters and sample of students work that adds color and brightens the atmosphere. Resources Many resources have been already explained above but one additional resource is the childrens reading baskets under their desk. Each child has a basket with eight books that are on their individual reading level. Every Monday, each student swaps out their books for another eight new books. If the student has read all of the books in their level or has exceeded past the books in the classroom, they may check books out in the school library. Parent Involvement All of the students take home a daily report about their progress and behavior. The students also take home a homework assignment every Monday that contains every weeknight assignments. The parents receive a monthly newsletter and past test grades. If necessary, the teacher does send home notes to the parent that has information that is needs to be shared between teachers and parent. Parents also receive the classroom rules and are asked to review with the students to prepare for school and problems that may happen. Classroom Rules and Routines/ Scheduling Every morning the students enter in quietly, hang up their jackets and books bags, make their lunch selection, sit down at own desk and begin morning assignment. When students line up to exit the classroom, first the line leader lines up at the front. Then the door manager opens and holds the door for all of the students. The students are expected to line up quietly and respectively. Most of the time, the students line up according to assigned table. As stated before, students may freely use the classroom bathroom except during lesson time unless it is an emergency. The classroom rules are 1) Be Ready 2) Be Respectful 3) Be Responsible. Consequences are the following: 1) Loss of privileges 2) Sad Note 3) Phone call to parent 4) Referred to principal 5) Minor/Major Infraction. Grouping Patterns Each student is grouped and assigned seating but their ability to work together and behave correctly amongst their peers. The small groups are students grouped together by their similarities in reading levels and/or IEPs. The four students that are in Tier IIb are grouped together during guided reading. The other students are

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grouped together during guided reading by their individual reading levels and past test results. Student Characteristics and Demographics 1st Grade Class Mathews Elementary School Spring 2013 Description Female Male Total Nos. of children 6 13 19 Age Six years old 4 9 13 Seven years old 2 4 6 Race/ethnicity African American 2 9 11 Hispanic 2 2 Caucasian 3 3 6 Special Needs/IEP 1 6 7 The class size is total of nineteen students including six females and thirteen males. There are a total of thirteen six years old students including four females and nine males. There are a total of six seven year olds including two females and four males. Eleven students are African American, two are Hispanic and six are Caucasian. Of the eleven African American students, there are two females and nine males. Of the two Hispanic students, both are males. Of the six Caucasian students, there are three females and three males. This class has many students that participate in Special Needs resources and IEP. Three students receive speech/language therapy twice a week. Two of those three students participate in Reading Recovery every day. Four students participate in a RTI (Response to Intervention) group. One male student lives with a family guardian. Nine of the students live in a single parent family. The other nine students live in home with a mother and father. All nineteen students receive free or reduced lunch due to low economical income. Only one student in the class began reading on grade level. The Diagnostic Reading Assessment tested the students ability levels. The students ranged from Pre A to Level 16. Since the range is so wide, the teacher is an important model for the students. In reading, I have been working with the students on how to expand their knowledge by taking advantage of the word wall containing around 100 words. In math, all of the students are learning concepts by exploring with blocks, counters and rulers. There are seven students on target; eight students who are shortly behind and two students are getting outside help. The students also participate in South Carolina state test including MAP and PASS. Instructional Implications

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Every student in the classroom must be involved in every lesson. The students need to feel the importance of their education and growth of knowledge. The teacher is in charge of making sure that the students feel this value. All students need structure inside the classroom. This also involves giving the students direct instructions and directions with all assignments. The teacher gives simple but high expectations for all students even those with learning disabilities. The students follow the rules and know the consequences that follow when breaking a rule. Since I have entered the classroom, I have learned a lot about each child. I have learned who to group together and who do not work well with each other. I have learned the different learning types and how to adjust my lesson plans to fit each child. I know I have very active boys who love to be engaged in hands on activities. When writing lesson plans, I need to make sure there is some way for them to move and become involved in the lesson. I have a couple students who are struggling with expressing his/her thoughts and emotions due to some extreme factors of their home life. I have learned one of the best ways to provide an outlet to these students is through writing activities. These students find can become lost in a simple worksheet that does not allow themselves to express their struggles in life. I also have learned the importance of a teachers relationship with her students. She has to have effective communication with the students to express her instructions, expectations and guidance. The teacher needs to know how to grab each students attention when teaching. Each lesson should be formatted to the best possible way to educate each student.

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