Colavito McKie Dr. Nan Li, Instructor Educ.

423: Teaching Language Arts to Children February 12, 2014 Field Experience Classroom Description Brookdale Elementary School is located at 394 Brookdale Drive in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The school serves approximately 333 students in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth. The staff members (faculty and staff) challenge students with meaningful instructional activities on a daily basis. Brookdale is home to the 2013-2014 Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five’s Teacher of the Year, Mr. William Burgess (fifth grade math and science). The school’s mission statement is “The mission of Brookdale Elementary School is to ensure academic success for all students. The school is a 2013 ESEA (Elementary Secondary Education Act) “A” rated school. Proud of being an “A” rated school, indicates that Brookdale is performing exceptionally well in alignment with the United States Department of Education’s No Child Left Behind Act. Brookdale is led by one principal (Dr. Charlene A. Stokes), one assistant principal (LaTonya Nelson), and guided by one guidance counselor (Yvette Pelzer-Brown). In addition to the administrative staff, the school has about fourteen homeroom classrooms with two classes per grade level, three special need classrooms equipped with a teacher and teaching assistant, and an eleven-member school improvement council. Some of the school highlights include: 1National Board Certified Teacher; Single-gender instruction; Technology integration; 21st Century After-

school program; South Carolina Department of Education Fresh Fruit and Vegetable grant recipient; Weekly Professional learning community sessions (PLC); PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention School) Banner School; and 2010-2013 Red Carpet School. Brookdale is a Title One School with 97% of their student population eligible for free or reduced lunch. Like all other elementary, middle, and high schools, Brookdale is assessed on their ability to foster learning environments and opportunities for students to succeed aligned with state and national standards. The school’s PASS (Palmetto Assessment of State Standard) Summary of Test Scores are as follows: Subject Grade 2012 Percent Passed Writing Reading Reading Reading Math Math Math Science Science Science Science Science 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 59% 48% 55% 47% 22% 55% 47% 17% 54% 29% 56% 64% 2011 Percent Passed 75% 72% 51.2% 73.5% 72.2% 51.2% 73.5% 44.4% 34.1% 79.2% 77.8% 68.3% 16% 24% 3.8% 26.5% 50.2% 3.8% 26.5% 27.4% 19.9% 50.2% 21.8% 4.3% % Difference






This semester, I was privileged with being placed in a third grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies classroom. My mentor teacher Ms. DaBetta Smith, is a veteran teacher who has over ten years of experience in education. Each grade level consists of two homeroom classes. Grades three through five are coupled with two team teachers who provide instruction to the students their grade level. In third grade, the two classes switch on a rotation schedule. Ms. Smith teaches her homeroom during second period, while providing English/ Language Arts and Social Studies instruction to Ms. Wallace’s homeroom during the first period of the day. Ms. Wallace, (Ms. Smith’s team-teacher) teaches Math and Science to both classes. Ms. Smith’s homeroom consists of approximately twenty-four students. Ms. Wallace’s homeroom consists of approximately twenty-five students. The physical classroom is attractive and displays meaningful instructional content that compliment both English/ Language Arts and Social Studies components of instruction. In providing you with an ideal set-up of Ms. Smith’s classroom, the circular tables are set up in a manner that encourages positive group collaboration and each chair has a seat-sack for individual students. The room displays teacher-made anchor charts based on English/ Language Arts content with examples of each concept titled: Similes, Metaphors, Personification, Vowel Digraphs, Poetry, Author’s Purpose, Literary Elements, Sequence, Compound Words, Plurals, Word Endings, Drawing Conclusions, Compare & Contrast, How to Answer Questions, Main Ideas & Details, Context & Development Writing Stems, Organization Writing Stems, Compound Sentences, Conjunctions, and Voice Writing Stems. In a sense, the physical attributes of the classroom exhibit a “home-like” atmosphere that features solid colors like

purple, green, and yellow. Per Ms. Smith, since the district is trying to incorporate technology in the classroom daily, there’s a STAR Board hooked to the dry erase board in which the teacher uses to compliment instruction. Inside the classroom is a reading center that consists of books on various levels, a computer center for students to work on reading assessments and other assignments, storage hooks and cubbies for student personal items and book bags, a storage cabinet for the teacher, and a teacher’s work station which consists of your typical teacher’s desk, chair, and storage compartments to house the teacher’s belongings. Outside the classroom consists of two bulletin boards displaying student work, a class schedule, and a classroom newsletter, published weekly by Ms. Smith and Ms. Wallace.

Storage Cabinet

Dry Erase Board/ SMART Board

Teacher Desk
Student Table #1 Student Table #4
Book Shelf

Computer Area

Book Shelf

Reading Area

Student Table #2


Student Table #3

Student Table #6


Reading Area Rug

Student Table #5