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Field Experience Observation

National University

Chelsea Johnston

ITL 608 Design and Process of Teaching

Week Two Assignment – Field Work

Cristina Salinas-Grandy

14 March 2019

Field Experience Observation

Summary of Observation

On March 13, 2019, I completed my initial observation on Konnie Hess’ fifth-grade class

at Rice Elementary School. Prior to completing this field observation, I conducted an interview

with Hess to gain insight on her class dynamic, teaching techniques, management styles, and

how she begins effectively planning for literacy instruction. With the insight on Hess’ approach

on teaching and planning, I was able to understand her reasons of instruction and management

within the class and was allowed to focus on the quality of the lesson that was being taught to the


The observation time for this field experience was 75-mintues. Students had created a list

of their favorite foods cooked at home and their favorite packaged food from the grocery store.

Students had been instructed to bring the recipes and food labels of the items on their list and to

be prepared to share them with the class. During my observation I was able to see the second half

of the students share their food items. Students shared recipes on food, some of which I have

never heard of before, and the other students were making notes on what was common/different

with the foods that they brought. Once all students had shared their lists, Mrs. Hess instructed the

students to take a five-minute brain-break. During this time, I noticed Hess set up her SMART

Board with a “T Chart.” On one side it said Common Ingredients and the other said Uncommon

Ingredients. After the student’s brain-break, students were to grab their notes and meet on the

front carpet by the SMART Board. Hess then reminded the students to raise their hand when

they had an idea to add and quickly went over respectful and productive discussion guidelines.

The students then began in a classroom discussion on their foods, collaboratively made notes on

the similarities and differences of their foods, made connections and conclusions, while Hess

guided the conversation to really make note of the biggest common factor (corn). This discussion

lasted for the remainder of the lesson time block.

During the class discussion, Hess had to remind a couple of students to stay on task and

one even had to fill out one of her student-led reflection slips. Hess did a great job allowing

students to share their ideas and personal connections while keeping them on topic with the

lesson. One of her students blurted a lot and walked around the classroom during class

discussion. Hess said that this student is one of her students with special needs and that this

behavior is typical. I felt that Hess handled the situation well and I liked that she still treated him

with respect. I feel like it might be easy sometimes to not engage or disagree with students who

have special needs because they have a diagnosis or fear crossing the line, but Hess spoke to him

with respect and allowed him to come to the realization of his inappropriate behavior. Hess

allowed him to reevaluate his behavior, write his reflection, and after the lesson she pulled him

aside to talk. It really seemed like this student looked up to Hess and felt bad after getting this

negative attention. I feel that this student will thrive with a teacher like Hess; he just needs to

practice managing his own behavior better.

The observation held on March 13, 2019 with Konnie Hess was insightful and

motivating. I gained perspective on the importance of proper and respectful classroom

management, saw a learning plan come to life, and gained first-hand experience on the

application of said learning plan. With the insight on Hess’ approach on teaching and planning, I

was able to understand her reasons of instruction and management within the class and was

allowed to focus on the quality of the lesson that was being taught to the students. I enjoy seeing

how educators each approach lessons with their students, and it is nice to comprehend their

reasonings beforehand.

Debrief Interview

What was the class composition (specifically, how many exceptional, special need and

English learners?)

The class is composed of twenty-eight students with nearly an equal divide between male

and female. Out of my twenty-eight students, four of them are English Language Learners

(ELL), three have special needs, and while I do not have any “gifted” students, two of them are

academically exceptional within the class.

Did any students cause any concern for you? Why?

I have a few students that regularly create additional obstacles in the classroom; so yes, I

would say that about four of my students were on my radar to par extra attention to. One of my

students with a special need has been diagnosed with ADHD and some days are worse than

others. Like today, he blurts often, sits and refuses to work, talks back when instructed to stay on

task, and wants to wander around the room to avoid completing work. I also have a few students

who enjoy socializing a great deal. Two of them are able to complete their work whilst talking,

but they distract others from working. And my last student of concern enjoys talking, but is not

capable of staying on task. Even when she is separated from her peers, she somehow manages to

talk with someone and avoids completing any work. I fear that these students will either fall

behind themselves or cause their peers to fall behind in the class/school years to come.

What were the lesson’s goal and objectives?

The lesson’s goals and objective are connected within this unit. Students will begin

reading articles and doing research on corn production in the United States. Students will then

learn how to read food labels to identify healthy eating habits and begin determining their food

choices based on the label, rather than fads/promotional techniques.


Why did you structure this plan as you did?

This is my third year teaching this unit to my students, so I made certain modifications to

make it more exciting and relevant to my students. I begin by having the students create a list of

a few of their favorite foods, some that they make at home and some food items they get

prepackaged from the store. I have the students bring in recipes and food labels and then we

make a class chart while we discuss the common ingredients in most foods. Students then are

able to share a little about their cultures, get a visual of the information, and begin understanding

the overall point of this unit. Then we begin our study on corn production in the US, we have

classroom discussion on how this applies to our lives. We discuss concepts like farmers and what

they feed their cattle, how this compares to other countries, what corn does to our body, and how

cheap it is in comparison to other crops. Students then begin to annotate the articles, do research

and draw conclusions based on their findings. Students then write a researched paper and present

them to the class. Once completing this, we take a field trip to a grocery store, and students are to

“shop” for food items, compare them to their list, and write a reflection on the differences and

why. Students then will be encouraged to create a visual of their choice and present it to the

class. Today, you saw the class discuss the lists the students created and observed how we

collaborated to make connections and note differences among the various foods. If you can, you

should come back at the end of the unit to see how the mindset changes with these students. That

is always my favorite part! Student make the greatest connections sometimes that even I lack to

see and I love learning from them!

What are your favorite instructional methods and strategies?

My favorite instructional methods are classroom discussions and self-reflection

assignments at the end of a lesson. With classroom discussion we allow students to share their

thoughts and ideas with the class, learn to respectfully challenge different perspectives, and gain

perspective from various point-of-views. Reflections are so important because they give the

students a chance to grow and understand their growth, it also allows them to make connections

that they otherwise wouldn’t have. They are also so fun for the educator see and hear!

Were all students engaged sufficiently?

For the most part! This is part of the name of the game, all students will never be as

engaged as we want them to be, but we must work with what we have. I was pleased with most

of my students, which is a win in itself, but even then, only two of my “concern students” created

additional obstacles.

Do you believe you achieved the lesson’s goal and objectives?

For what we have completed thus far, I believe that we are achieving the goals and

objective. We have about two and a half more weeks of this unit, so it is hard to say for sure

quite yet.

Are you satisfied with students’ work in the lesson? If not, why?

So far, yes. I am excited to see how the rest of the unit goes, in the past, students typically

enjoy this lesson.

What interfered with an effective lesson procedure?

Side conversations and blurting always interfere with the lesson procedure. This typically

slows down the lesson, but I try to always consider that when creating a running schedule. Side

conversations and blurting easily get the class off topic and rowdy and sometimes it gets difficult

to reel the students back in.

What techniques do you believe are most instrumental for classroom management?

In my classroom, the most instrumental for classroom management is natural

consequences and student-led reflection slips. These techniques allow for students to feel free to

make their own decisions while understanding the reality of natural consequences and how they

arise in the world. Students know what is appropriate behavior and are encouraged to reflect on

their actions when they behave inappropriately. I believe this is the best way to prepare students

for their futures and have them feel respected as a citizen in my classroom.

Could you improve your learning plan based on the lesson reflection? How?

Definitely yes, like I told you before, there is always room for improvement and we

should never stop analyzing our approach. Because we are not deep into this unit yet, I don’t

have many notes made yet, but thus far, I think I will instruct students to create their list of food

over the weekend before the unit begins, this way we will have more time for discussion and

research in the classroom.