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Observation Reflection

1. Three new insights I gained while making my observations were:

a. In the 5th Grade class room while they were doing a math lesson:
-I now understand the importance in context when supplying children
with new information (New learning needs to initially relate to students lives and
experiences- John Dewey, Jean Piaget). When the teacher gave students a real life
scenario in which to help with their learning they were able to better grasp the
b. In the 5th Grade class room in a short spelling lesson:
-I liked that the teacher gave the children a question about what they
thought a closed syllable was and then had them to discuss at their tables what
they thought the answer was (Students need to be allowed to interact verbally in
order to process new learning for increased understanding and retention- Robert
Slavin, David and Roger Johnson). After this the children were excited to find out
what the definition really meant and they were able to remember what the word
was later on during check-backs.
c. In the 1st Grade class room during a reading lesson:
-I loved how at the beginning of the year the teacher assessed the
students to see what reading level they were at. From there the teacher was able to
help the students to progress at their own pace (Learning tasks need to be broken
down into manageable steps in order to adjust the level of difficulty for the learnerBarak Rosenshine, B.F. Skinner). Each child was able to progress at their own pace
and feel good about their own achievements.
2. Evidence that students learned:

a. In the math lesson, children were able to figure out the answer by not only
using the algebraic equation but by using base 10 blocks. (Written Follow Up)
b. In the spelling lesson, children were able to understand what a closed
syllable was. (Verbal Response)
c. In the second half of the reading lesson, children were able to tell what
happened first, then, next, after that, and finally in a story which they previously
hadnt been able to do. (Verbal Response)
3. Strategies used to help students be successful:
a. Math:
-The teacher used small group instruction and student teach-backs to
help other students when they were struggling
b. Spelling:
-The teacher used groups to help children to converse with each other
before the teacher gave them the answer
c. Reading:
-The teacher used organization of herself and where her students were
to help them to succeed in their reading

Teacher Interview
I interviewed Mrs. Erica Hirata who is a 5 th grade teacher. She works in the Los
Angeles Unified School District as a 5th grade teacher. She works at Beethoven
Elementary and has been there for 7 years teaching 4 th, 5th, and a 4/5 combo for
several years. She is currently teaching 5th grade. In total she has 17 years of
teaching under her belt. Her favorite grade to teach is 4 th but they needed her in 5th
this year.
1. When and how do you plan your lessons?
a. She plans her lessons weekly. She has a yearly outline of things that
she needs to teach and when they should be accomplished by but the
day to day stuff is done a week in advance. There are some
modifications here and there. For example, she spent extra time on a
science lesson because the children hadnt grasped the concept of
2. If students are not at grade level, what do you do to help them?
a. She pulls a group or a student aside and helps them with whatever
theyre stuck on. If its something that another student can help with
she has everyone shuffle and work together to help solve the problem
which will sometimes help without singling a student out. If there are a
large portion of students, she pulls them together into a group and
works with them when there is extra time
3. In your opinion, what is a major misconception about teaching?
a. Teachers getting a summer vacation. This is a huge misconception
according to her. She says that most of her summers are spent
planning the next years lesson plans and finding new exciting material

to cover in class. Yes, there is maybe a week or two but most of the
summer is spent planning and cleaning for the next year.
4. What would be your advice for future teachers?
a. Dont give up. The first year will be the hardest and the second may
not be much better but the more you work at it the better itll become.
If it becomes too difficult, dont be afraid to ask for another teachers
help. Even if its just to step outside for a break from the chaos.

Observation Reflection
Shelby Hall
LBS 203/495
Dr. Robinson
November 6, 2013