TWS 1: Contextual Factors

Classroom Factors
Physical Features There is one door to the classroom. This is the door you enter and exit from. There are two windows in the room on the far wall. One window is at the front and one window is at the back of the room. There is a bookbag rack at the back of the room. This is used to hold their book bags and coats during the school day. Availability of Technology In Mrs. Vines first grade classroom there is a smart board and a TV. She uses the smart board for different activities. The other day she used it to go over spelling words. I am planning on using the smart board in my lessons as much as I can. They use the TV for the morning show. This comes on when the students come in first thing in the morning. The show includes birthdays, the National Anthem, school saying, and other announcements. There are two students that do the morning show. Equipment There is a smart board in the classroom on the wall by the teachers’ desk. There are no computers in the classroom. The students go to the computer lab on Thursdays at 2:00. There is a sink in the back right corner of the room. There is only one computer in the room and that is Mrs. Vines computer. She also has a printer in her room. There is a radio at the back of the room. Learning Environment The learning environment is very calm. They have a morning show when they come in. That calms them down and gets them ready for the day. They have a little bit of time at the beginning of class to share things. They also have time to get their homework, signed papers, notes, money, etc. to the teacher or in the assigned basket that each item goes in. During spelling tests and comprehension tests the even numbered children sit on the floor while the odd numbered children stay in their desks. That way everyone is spread out so there isn’t a chance to cheat. There are many different opportunities for the students to learn. Resources Mrs. Vines uses different resources in her room. She uses reading basal, IB units, individual readers, and things that she pulls up from the internet. Parent Involvement Mrs. Vines has a mother of the room that helps out with all of the parties and sending things home. This parent is one of her student’s mothers. She also said that if she asked any of the other parents to help she knows they would. She said they have very good parent involvement in the

classroom. The children were working on boxes for Valentine’s Day to put their cards and candy in. Almost all of the students brought them in on Monday. Classroom rules and routines In the classroom, hallway, restroom, and cafeteria have their own set of rules. They are known as ROAR. ROAR stands for Respectful, On task, Always prepared, and Responsible. The classroom ROAR under respectful includes: use inside voices, raise hand to speak, and listen to speaker. For on task the rules include: follow directions, complete assignments, and use time wisely. For always prepared the rules include: bring materials and be rested and ready. For responsible the rules include: honor personal space, use materials correctly, and keep workspace neat and clean. The hallway ROAR under respectful is to walk quietly and keep hands and feet to yourself. For on task the rules are keep line together (no gaps) and listen to adult directions. For always prepared the rules are walk directly to your destination and carry book bags and other things correctly. For responsible the rules are stay right and honor personal space. The restroom ROAR under respectful are keep restrooms clean and respect others’ privacy. For on task the rules are enter/exit quickly and quietly and use facilities properly. For always prepared the rule is wash hands with soap before leaving. For responsible the rules are report problems to an adult and always flush. The cafetria ROAR under respectful are be quiet and patient in line and use good manners. For on task the rules include: listen for directions, eat silently for first 10 minutes, and face the table keep hands, feet, utensils to self. For always prepared the rule is get needed items before being seated. For responsible the rules include: eat your food only, keep your area clean, and remember trash, trays, and travel. These are rules that are enforced in the throughtout the whole school. They have the same routines everyday. Grouping Patterns There are three rows of desks in the classroom. In each row there is a girl, boy pattern. Some of her students get split up and go with different classes to activity. Each child has there own number. They also are grouped at lunch by the choices of line 1 or line 2. Scheduling The scheduling in the classroom is: the students come in, put their things away and get their things together, then they do a morning sheet, go to activity from 8:30-9:20, stop by restroom on the way back to class, come back to class, do spelling words, read books aloud together and at desk for unit, go to lunch from 11:20-11:40, then back to the classroom. I have to leave at 12 because I have a class at 12:40 so I haven’t had a chance to see what they do the rest of the day. I’m looking forward to Immersion Week so I can see the routine for the whole day. Classroom Arrangement When you first walk in the room, to the right there are two huge file cabinets with multiple supplies. On top of the file cabinets, there are several different things you can use for math. At the front of the room there is carpet that they sit on for read alouds. There is also a marker board with a lot of

different resources. There are also two shelves on the other side of the huge file cabinets that have all her papers for spelling tests and spelling words, etc. There is clip chart for behavior also on the markerboard. Above the markerboard there is a clock and the Alphabet from A-Z. There is a big flip chart in front of the shelves. There is also a rocking chair at the front of the room. The TV is attached to the wall at the front of the room. The desks are in the middle of the room in 3 rows starting at the front and going to the back of the room. There are twenty-two desks in the room. To the right of the room there is a small group half circle table with six chairs. There is a world map that hangs from the board. On the right side wall of the room there is another marker board with calender, numbers from 1-100, months, days of the week, zero to ten written in word form and number form, place value, and compass. Underneath this marker board there are two shelves with tons of math supplies for different centers and/or activities. At the back right corner of the room there is a desk used for lunch boxes. There is also a sink with cabinets under it. On the back wall there is a book bag rack with books and other resources above it. There is a shelf with books the students can read. There is also a big cabinet at the back of the room with all of the teachers’ materials in it and also other things.There is a small file cabinet near the big cabinet with student records and teaching materials in it. There is shelf with personal items for Mrs. Vines. The printer and computer are beside eachother on the left wall. The smart board is right beside the teacher desk. On that same wall there is cart with the flag on it and other books from the library. There is also another shelf with papers and letters home for each week. On that same wall by the smart board, there are colors. The intercom system is also on this same wall.

Student Characteristics and Demographics
First Grade Class Ninety-Six Primary School Spring 2014 Description Nos. of children Age Six years old Seven years old African-American White Hispanic Female 10 4 6 2 8 0 0 Male 12 6 6 2 9 1 1 Total 22 10 12 4 17 1 1


Special needs/IEP

There is a wide range of skill levels within the class. Check lists for vocabulary for kindergarten and DRA are used to test prior learning. At the beginning of first grade they do individual test sounds, letter recognition, writing letters and numbers. From observing the students, the boys like sports and

wrestling. The girls like sharing bracelets with each other and writing stories. It seems like many of the students are hands-on and very outspoken during class discussion. They all like to answer questions and share stories. Most of the class likes to talk, there is only a few that are quiet and don’t really say anything.

Instructional Implications
Contextual factors in the classroom have a major impact on instruction and assessments. Resources are a big factor in the classroom. If you as the teacher don’t have extra resources that you can use in your classroom then it will make it harder for you to teach and assess your students. If you want to plan a lesson using the smart board but you don’t have the internet to use as a resource then you have to find another way to use the smart board without pictures. For example, I am planning on using the smart board for my lesson and I was going to get pictures off the internet to use on the smart board. If I don’t have access to the internet then I can’t use the smart board so I will have to have to either print out pictures before or plan for something else. Knowing the students will be helpful in planning instruction and assessments. You as a teacher need to know your students to know how they learn best. If you have an ELL in your room, pair them with someone that knows English as a first language. This will help that child feel more comfortable with learning. As a teacher, you could also pair your ELL with a high or average student to help them with any problems with the work. If they are really strong in a certain subject, try to put more emphasis into that subject