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Ashleigh Ramdorsingh

Observation Hours
10/15/14

Today, I had the opportunity to observe not one but three afternoon classes with
Paco. I observed two, tenth grade English classes and a Creative Writing class. We, my
classmates and I, came in at lunch time and got settled before the second half of the day
began. When time for the first tenth grade class came, a slew of teenagers came filing
through Rickards hallways. A class of maybe thirty students sat waiting for Paco to start
teaching. Paco had told us before hand that the students had just finished taking the
PSAT, therefore his students wouldnt be doing any strenuous work for the rest of the
day.
Paco had interest surveys and a crossword puzzle for both English classes to
keep them busy for the hour. For no particular reason, the first class stayed on task
more than the second one. A lot of the students in the first class, that I saw, had put their
headphones in and worked quietly for the hour. There were few students that conversed
and if they did, they did not disturb the class enough for it to be a problem. Paco was
very lax with them knowing that they had just come taking the PSAT. The second class
got their work done as well but it took a little more work keeping them on task. One thing
I liked a lot was in the first class; a boy with a cast on his right arm told Paco that he was
having difficulty writing and Paco suggested he use one of the class laptops to write
down his answers instead of writing. This way the student was able to finish his work
with out compromising his arm.
The creative writing class was my favorite part of the day. Paco has them do the
same Literary Lingering exercise he gives his college class and has them share. After
watching a video gf a boy who records himself at ridiculously, high distances, Paco has
the students share their writings with the class. The children surprised me with their

writing, some were very touching and some were very out-of-the-box. It was very
interesting listening to their responses. For the remainder of class, Paco had them each
pickup a laptop and work on an end of the quarter project. The students were given the
task of creating their own short story. They began with a character sketch and built their
stories off of one aspect of their character. We left while the students quietly finished up
their stories.

Observation Hours
11/12/14
I spent todays observation with my classmates: Marie, Shamwoow, Elise and
Katie. We observed three different classes including two of Pacos classes and one
Physics class. We started with one of Pacos English classes; the students were reading
an excerpt from The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. They had read the excerpt before
hand and today they were reading it as a graphic novel. Paco had two worksheets for
them to complete after they finished reading. The first was a close reading worksheet
with seven questions for them to answer. The second worksheet was a multiple choice,
review quiz. The questions on the review were very straightforward and easy if the
excerpt was read.
After this class, we went to a Physics class led by Mr. Lamee. I liked observing
this classroom a lot. The class was a mix of students; after asking them, I found out that
they ranged from ninth to eleventh grade. Mr. Lamee explained to us that he had not
been in class for a week and he was now coming back to get the students back on track.
The project they were working on was a projectile movement project. This meant that
they had to record an object in motion and analyze the data for it.
Mr. Lamee told us that from an English aspect they did not worry too much about the
students grammar as long as they were able to get their point across in their analyses.

We then walked around the room to see what the students were working on and asked
them questions about their projects. I was able to watch as one group recorded
themselves throwing a ball to each other and proceeding to download it onto their
tablets. The students had a program that allowed them to slow down their videos and
analyze the movement of the objects thrown.
Some of the students conversed with us and asked about our majors and other
students waited for our questions and answered quietly. Mr. Lamee explained that even
though the students we're working in projects, they all had their individual project to work
on. He said that some of them had lab partners that were not in this particular class but
they worked on google docs (or a similar program) so they could work on it at the same
time and also see each others progress when they werent together.
I loved watching these students work and hearing about how they each were
working on their projects. After the physics class we returned to Pacos for his last
English class of the day. For their writing assignment, he had each person from the class
choose a word, including his observers, and wrote them down on a list. He then directed
the class to write anything they wanted that included each of the words. It was awesome
listening to what the students came up with. The students certainly are gifted writers.

Observation Hours
11/14/14
I spent todays observation with my classmates: Marie, Shamwoow, Amanda and
Shelby. We observed two different English classes, one being Pacos class the other
was a woman teaching a pre IB English class. In Pacos first class the students were
asked to grab a computer and start working on a particular writing assignment. There
was`- not much instruction in the first period since the children were simply working on
their own. The students are very efficient when it comes to working in class. They will

simply put in their headphones and start writing. There are few students who talk to each
other and if they do it is only for a short amount of time and then they continue their
work.
We walked down the hall for the second English class. I enjoyed observing this
class immensely. The students were very intelligent and well spoken and the exercises
they did in class were extremely helpful. The teacher started the class with a review of
an assignment from a previous lesson. Students were to choose a vocabulary word and
write a defense on the word and its meaning. They were to then to choose a synonym
or antonym of their word from a passage they had previously read and write about the
context it was used in. I loved this assignment because it had the students thinking in
complex ways.
After finishing this assignment, they proceeded to read the next passage in their
textbook. The passage was about one womans view on womens rights in the Middle
East. The students took turns reading the passage and close to the end of class they
had finished the entire reading. The teacher assigned them the same assignment for
next week. They were to choose a word from the reading and defend it based on its
context.
The last period we attended was interesting as well. Paco had previously had his
students read an excerpt from The Metamorphosis in the form of a graphic novel. For
this period they were to read the excerpt from a standard passage and complete a
worksheet on it. The worksheet was essentially a close reading of the story. There were
several questions on the worksheet that the students had to respond to in paragraph
form. After finishing the worksheet there was a twenty-five question quiz on the reading.
They were contextual question so it was not difficult to answer them if students had read
the excerpt. I enjoyed observing these last two periods because it gave me many ideas
that I would love to incorporate into my own classroom.

Ashleigh Ramdorsingh
Observation Experience

Observing classes at Rickards has been my favorite experience with


observations so far. The students I encountered, here, were very friendly; they were
intelligent as well as diligent. I was able to interact with the students unlike many of my

past observations. I was able to talk to several teachers about the way they ran their
classrooms and how they dealt with something when their plans didnt work out. I was
also very excited about my observations here because I was able to see many different
things that I want to eventually incorporate into my own classroom.
In many of the English classes that I have observed in the past, students were
not given much instruction. Many times they were given a piece of writing to read and
assigned a close reading to do. In my own English classes, I wasnt given much
instruction on what to do for a close reading. Yet, close readings were a good majority of
what we were given to do. Although most of the teachers I have had in the past gave me
helpful feedback, I probably wouldve been a better writer if I gotten better instruction in
the first place.
In the classes I observed at Rickards, I saw students being instructed better than
I had ever seen. Students were not just given close readings, but other types of writing
assignments that helped them increase their skills. I was even able to observe a Physics
class while at Rickards and it was still very helpful to observe. The students I met in the
Physics class were very friendly and were happy to explain their work to me. Students
worked on their computers creating a website of their own to upload their findings and
data for a certain project they were working on.
In a pre-IB English class I observed, I was able to hear comments from students that
encouraged me to continue working to be a teacher. These students were well spoken
and very intelligent. The assignment they worked on involved them choosing a word
from a passage and writing an entire essay based on its meaning and context. This
assignment prompted the students to think critically about vocabulary words as well as
the passage as a whole. It was fascinating to hear the students responses to their
readings.

I enjoyed every single one of these classes because it was the first time I had
seen students who were given instruction rather than feedback. The professors I
interacted with were good at their jobs and cared about whether their students
understood what was being taught. I aim to be a teacher like the ones I met at Rickards.
I want to challenge my students with their assignments as well as be able to provide
ample feedback. I shall aim to be a teacher that cares for my students and is able to
assure that each of them understands what they are being taught.