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Marlee O’Dowd
EDUC 1301
Dr. Quong
December 5, 2014
Learning Environment
During my field-based experience I observed a variety of classes and grade levels. Since
I am employed by the Grayson County Special Education Cooperative, I am regularly assigned
to an elementary school structured classroom at the S & S Consolidated School District. I also
observer structured classrooms at the middle and high schools. In addition to the structured
classrooms, I observed a regular education 2nd grade, 4th grade, and music and physical education
classrooms. During my observations I was particularly impressed by the learning environment
presented in Mrs. Towery’s 4th grade classroom.
Upon first entering Mrs. Towery’s classroom, I was awed by its size and visual appeal.
The classroom seemed larger than many of the other rooms in the elementary school. The room
is divided into sections with traditional student desks aligned three to a row and areas of the
room setup as learning centers. The room is quite organized and clean. Despite being occupied
by 20 students, the room seems clutter free. The teacher has welcoming décor hanging on the
walls. Some of the posters are related to learning objectives, positive messages or signs
designating the function of the learning center such as “reading corner.” In the reading corner,
there is a sofa and bean bag chairs where students can relax and read a book. In the back of the
room slightly behind a row of student desks is another sofa with pull-up tabletops where some
students sit during regular classroom lessons.


Mrs. Towery’s uses technology regularly in her classroom. She has an interactive white
board at the front of the classroom connected to her teacher workstation. A ceiling mounted
projector allows the teacher to project images from her teacher workstation or a document
camera to enhance her lessons with digital content. Every student in this 4th grade classroom has
access to a digital device. The classroom contains a cart that holds a combination of iPads,
Chromebooks and laptops that student often use to engage in assignments and reteach exercises.
On the left side of the classroom is a row of three desktop computers used by student to take
weekly reading inventory assessments.
The walls of Mrs. Towery’s room are painted with a neutral color paint, but contain
several primary colored posters and decorations. The teacher encourages her students to declutter their work area before they leave each day and pick up paper or trash from their desks and
the floor.
Mrs. Towery’s classroom is a warm and inviting learning environment. She has Scentsy
flameless candles located on her desk which emanate an inviting aroma in the room. The
organization of the room allows students to move from one learning center to another without
bumping or invading the space of others. The classroom management practices of the teacher
enable the students to participate in the learning process without getting too loud or seeming
chaotic. Overall, I am very impressed with Mrs. Towery’s learning environment.
The S&S Consolidated School District serves about 900 students in grades PreKindergarten through grade 12. It is a school district where the faculty and staff work hard to
meet the needs of all of their students. I have found this to be a district committed to providing a


strong learning environment for all of its students. I have enjoyed working and observing the
educational environments at this school.