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Michael McCabe

Professor Reilly
EDUC 359
2 December 2014
Classroom Observation Report
1. What techniques/methods/strategies do you see being used with ELL/LEP
students? Are they effective? Why or why not?
The technique that I saw used most was incorporating visuals into the lesson.
The teacher included visual cues when providing directions, added images to the
lecture materials, and created graphic organizers for students to take notes. These
tools were not just reserved for the ELL student. All of the students in the class
benefited from these instructional modifications. Overall, I thought these tools were
effective for all the students. The ELL student was especially able to follow
directions well after being prompted by the visuals. However, I think the teacher
could have modified his graphic organizer even more than the other students to
increase his comprehension of the material. It already helped him, but I think
further modification could only improve his comprehension.
2. Do you notice any student behaviors that you would consider out of the
ordinary? Please describe in detail.
For my ELL student, I actually did not notice any strange or unusual
behaviors. He was reserved and spoke mainly to the teacher, the aid, or the other
classmates at his table. He never acted out when unsure or confused. However,
some of the non-ELL students did act out either by calling out or taunting one
another. These behaviors were typically nipped in the bud by my cooperating
teacher. I imagine that some of this behavior was a response to not understanding
the content or mastering the concepts too quickly. Their behaviors did not seem to
negatively impact the ELL student, however.
3. What type of interactions do you see between the ELL student, other classroom
students, and the teacher? Please describe in detail.
As I briefly mentioned above, my ELL student was pretty quiet, but
comfortable with certain members of the classroom. He spent most of his
interactions with the teacher and the teachers aid. The teacher would monitor his
performance closely and helped any time he seemed to be struggling. The aid spent
more time going around the classroom, but also interacted with the ELL student
when the other teacher was tied up or working somewhere else. The ELL student
seemed comfortable with both teachers. With other classmates, the ELL student

stuck to the people at his table, but he seemed pretty comfortable with them. The
other students were eager and willing to help him. I was not able to observe him
during a break or lunch hour, but I would guess that he interacts with his peers in a
similar way during those times as well.
4. Identify resources/materials that are being used with the ELL student. Please
describe in detail how the ELL student is using them. Do they appear to be
effective?
One resource that the ELL student used was manipulatives. The teacher had
provided flashcards for the student to practice vocabulary. One side had a word on
it while the other side had a visual. During free times, the student was able to use
those to build and practice his vocabulary skills. I only had the chance to observe
the student use these cards a few times, but I didnt find them to be very effective,
perhaps because he did not have enough time with them. They also were not very
stimulating. While manipulatives can definitely benefit any student, including ELL
students, they have to be more intentional than simply putting words and images on
index cards. The student learned from them, but not nearly as much as he could
have with a more thoughtful manipulative.
5. Does the classroom environment seem to be comfortable for the ELL student?
Please describe the environment and explain how you made your decision.
The classroom, to me, was a very warm, welcoming place. There were
several visuals (posters, signs, etc.) around the walls. Although they were not
specifically meant for the ELL student, I think they provide some sense of comfort to
him. More importantly, the classroom was designed in small tables, with 6 students
at each. The tables, according to my teacher, were strategically filled with students
with different performance abilities to promote collaboration and an open learning
community. By creating smaller groups at these tables, I believe that the ELL
student feels more comfortable. Its less chaotic than having rows of students or
large tables of ten or more. Additionally, having students of different performance
levels allows the ELL student to receive help from his peers when necessary.
Overall, I think that the ELL student seemed welcomed and comfortable in this
environment and looked to be benefitting academically from it.
6. Whats the comfort level of the ELL student in regards to the English language?
What observations help you arrive at your decision? At what level would you place
the ELL student? How did you decide on that level?
The ELL student is actually quite comfortable in using the English language.
Although he does not speak all that much, when he does, he speaks fairly well. He
has a strong mastery of vocabulary and is only a grade or two behind in that regard.
Most of his issues come with grammar. He still struggles with article usage, verb
tenses, and other details that come with time. Based on what I observed, I would
put the student somewhere between Speech Emergence and Intermediate Fluency.

He expresses opinions and asks questions, but his sentences are still somewhat
simple. I believe that the ELL student is transitioning quite well and will continue to
do so in this classroom.
7. What type of accommodations/modifications they have to make for the ELL
student. Please describe the types of accommodations/modifications that were
discussed. Do they appear on the checklist? Why/why not do you think they are
present/not present on the checklist?
My teacher explained that she uses only a few modifications for the ELL
student. These are primarily utilized during tests or assessments. For instance, she
sometimes will modify a test so that in the multiple-choice section, there are only
three potential answers instead of four. She might also allow the student to
verbalize short answer responses instead of writing them down. In terms of
accommodations, she might allow for extra time for the student to take the test or
orally administer the test. Most of these accommodations/modifications do appear
on the checklist, while others are variations of ones on the list. I think that they are
present on the checklist because they are some of the more popular
accommodations and modifications out there. They are evidence-based strategies
proven to help students. My teacher has even noted that these strategies have
helped the ELL student in her classroom and she plans to continue using them
throughout the rest of the school year.