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Contextual Factors

Classroom factors
The sixth grade classroom at Westview Middle is a welcoming environment. As I walk
into the classroom each day, the students welcome me with open arms. When walking into the
room, there is a Promethean board in the front of the classroom, and behind it is a standard white
board. There is a bulletin board to the left of the white board that lists the instructional focus for
the day. Next to the bulletin board on the wall, there are a list of group rules and responsibilities.
There are five desktop computers in the back of the room, and above the computers are shelves
with different materials and books stocked on them. There is also a big shelf in the back corner
of the room, with each class’s books.
This classroom has access to a large variety of technology. They have one iPad cart for
students to check out iPads and each student is assigned a Google Chrome book because they are
a part of the STEMs program. The parents email, call, and address issues frequently to make sure
their kids are on the right track. The parents are heavily involved with PTO, they rarely miss any.
Since I am dealing with middle school students, there are only two rules that account for
everything that does not need to be stated one by one. The first rule is respect others and the
second rule is respect yourself. Since this is middle school, the routine is different from that of
the elementary environment. At the beginning of class, the students sharpen their pencils, get into
their groups, and begin their assignments. They usually check their homework first unless
otherwise directed to do something else. The students are self-motivated, which is why they start
class themselves, without the teacher having to guide them through what is expected. The

students dismiss themselves, because there are no bells. The class is grouped in eight groups of
four and one group of three desks.
Student characteristics
The sixth grade class consists of twenty-six students. The students range in age from ten
to eleven. The class is predominately boys with nineteen and only seven girls. The students are
intrinsically motivated and often put pressure on themselves. There are a variety of
race/ethnicities in this class. There are two African Americans, two Asians, twenty-two
Caucasians, and one Polish. All of the students are traditional learners, driven, and among the top
scorers on the PASS test. These students scored exemplary in all four areas. Three of the students
had perfect scores. These students have traveled a lot and love to play sports. Most of the
students are interested in soccer, baseball, math, and science. 24 of the students speak fluent
English. Two of the students are ELL and receive services.
I have one student that is a high functioning autistic child. He has a shadow that follows
him to all of his classes every day. This student has an IEP that requires him to have a shadow, to
have a structured environment, to sit near the front of the room, and test in an alternative
environment. He is put in an alternative environment in order to stay focused on his exam, but is
not read to him.
School and Community factors
Westview Middle School has about 600 students. Here at Westview, they have a
S.T.E.M’s and GT program. The students’ in STEMs arrive earlier and leave earlier than the rest
of the student’s. The GT students and the regular students arrive later and leave later. The
students’ that are in STEMs are the ones who have scored well on the PASS and MAP tests and

have been selected into the program. They receive a Google Chrome book, class sets of iPads,
and is very technology based. The school is going to assign every student a Google Chrome book
by the end of next year. The school also has PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and
Support). If students follow the rules, they will be rewarded with different prizes such as; a
movie day or a pizza party.

Instructional implications
Based on the information gathered from my cooperating teachers and interest surveys, I
can begin to think about how to plan effectively. Since this class is such a diverse one, I will
make sure that all cultures are highlighted and no one is left out. I want to make each student feel
as safe and welcomed as possible in the classroom. Since the students are self-driven and work
well in cooperative groups, I will use cooperative groups as much as possible. Many of the
students also like soccer, so there will be lessons that are math and science that involve soccer.
From the previous year, my students stated that they did not like when the teacher yelled and
gave out harsh punishments. During lesson or general class, I will hold each student accountable
for each other as far as enforcing rules.
For my student with autism, I will let him choose his seat. I say this, because in one of
my classes he sits at the front, but in the math class he sits in the back. Wherever he chooses is
fine with me, as long as he is attentive. This student likes consistency, so wherever he chooses to
sit is probably where he will be for the year. I will have to make sure the students take their time
with their work, because most of them think that everything is a competition and want to be the
first to complete their work. When going through lessons, I will take my time and not rush

through. I will make sure they are grasping the concept, and not just being compliant and doing
as I say. As I model this, my students will pick up on this and slow down on their work. Since
I’m teaching math, I will make sure that my lessons are engaging, competitive, and deal with the
interests of the students. I will make them as close to real life as possible, so students will be
using critical thinking skills in order to solve problems. I want them to be engaged, interested,
and have fun during their lessons. All of the information I have gathered will be very useful with
planning and teaching effectively.