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Assignment One

Observation 1: What are your first impressions of the classroom environment? Is it

warm, inviting, organized, etc? Describe the physical environment in detail. >>>

The classroom environment is very inviting. The teacher I was observing with has
a portable as a classroom. She likes to have the door open and outside her
classroom she has plants for her students to have a job and water them. At first I
did not think it was organized because she has a lot of anchor chart hung around
the classroom. Once the teacher would as a question the students would know
which wall would have the anchor chart for help. They would get up their seats
and go look for help. After I saw that I thought it was a good idea for the teacher
to have all the notes for them. The first day I was there I would see the teacher
grab her phone and she would document things on it whenever a student did
something good or bad. She has an app called DOJO and that is how some
parents keep track on their children’s behavior. Like when it was lunch time a
student ran down the hall she got her phone and marked that on the app s his
mom could see his behavior.

Observation 2: Please describe the student make-up of the class, including gender,
ethnicity, ELL, students with physical challenges, and any other apparent attributes that
are important to note. >>>

The classroom I got placed into has 20 students. There are 14 boys and 6
girls. The girls in the classroom definitely participate more. They raise their hands
to participate but the teacher will sometimes pick on the boys so they could
participate more. One of the boys had blue hair. Ethnicity is very different. I see
more Hispanic and African American students. There is one ELL student who is a
male. The kids around him are great they help him out and don’t distract him or
the other students don’t make a big deal if he has an outburst.

Observation 3: What are the posted class rules in the room? (exactly as written) >>>
1. Only use bathroom when teacher is not talking *don’t forget to sign in
and out*
2. Raise hand to speak, unless teacher gives special permission.
3. End of day: when called stack chair, pack up, pick up trash and line up
4. When entering the classroom, take all the needed items out of your
backpack and hang it up.
5. Always be kind!!
The teacher also uses something called CHAMPS.
Conversation: 0= Silent, 1= whisper, 2= conversation voice, 3= outside
Help: raise your hand, ask your partner, ask your group.
Activity: Do your own work, work with a partner, work with a group.
Movement: Stay seated, move with permission, responsible movements.
Participation: Answer questions when called on focused
Success: We will be successful!
Observation 4: Does the teacher enforce these posted rules? Are rewards or
consequences being used for compliance or noncompliance? >>>
Yes, she constantly reminds students to raise their hands and stay quiet
when she is instructing. She then asks if the students have any questions for
after she is done. She says “Who can raise their hand and explain what buddy
reading is?”

 The teacher also says “waterfall” and students start to quiet down if they
get too loud.
 She makes a lot of anchor charts to help her students out.
 She uses an app called DOJO to interact with parents on student’s
behaviors. She rewards them based on how many DOJO dollars they have.

Assignment 3
Instruction Question 1: What is the posted daily schedule for different subjects or
periods? >>>

ELA from 9:20-11 am, lunch 11-11:30. 75 minute math block from 12:45-
1:35, after specials writing, then social studies economics.

Instruction Question 2: Is instruction done in small groups, centers, whole groups,

individual? >>>
The teacher has the students work in partners or whole groups.

Instruction Question 3: How would you describe your cooperating teacher’s teaching
style? >>>

Very hands on, she likes to partner up the students on many of the
assignments, she keeps the students entertained.

Instruction Question 4: Does the teacher incorporate the sensory modalities (learning
styles)? If so, give examples.
Instruction Question 5: Do the students seem engaged in the lesson(s) that are being
presented? Please explain. >>>
Yes, they are constantly raising their hands to answer questions.

Instruction Question 6: Are there any students isolated from the rest of the class for
any reason? Why?

No, they all get along. She pairs them up and they don’t complain about
their partners.

Instruction Question 7: Is instructional time managed efficiently? Please explain >>>

Yes, she informs them howmuch time they have since the beginning. If
studets finish early she has them start something new.

Instruction Question 8: How does the cooperating teacher handle transitions from one
subject or period to another, and are these transitions efficient? >>>

She has a schedule up with the amount of time for each subject. While
students are working with partners she puts the next work on their desks.

Instruction Question 9: List ways that the teacher attempts any “attention getting”
commands? (Ex: Countdown, Light flicker, Heads on Desk) How effective are they? >>>

She changes the tone levels. For example, she writes down a 0=no talking a
whisper on the board. The students listen and cooperate. Of course there is some
partners that get side tracked but the teacher keeps an eye on them.

Instruction Question 10: What specific behavior issues does the teacher have to deal
with? How does the teacher deal with these behavior issues? Be specific. >>>
Constantly, students are asking the same question on where stuff belongs.
She answers their questions with a question. For example, “Where do you think it
is where I always have it?” she makes the students think more.

Instruction Question 11: Are there any policies or procedures in place that help or
hinder instructional time? If so, explain them and how they help or hinder use of
instructional time. >>>
Culture of school:
1. Identify the school’s mission statement, motto, and mascot. >>>

The school mascot is a panda. They have “Panda Pride.”

2. Analyze staff and visitor interactions in the main office. Note student and faculty
interactions in other areas of the school. >>>

Once I walked in the administrators immediately acknowledged I walked in.

they asked me what I was visiting for. i then had to sign in and put a visitor
pass sticker on my shirt. As I would walk by the hallways I could notice
teachers look to make sure I had a visitors pass on and would smile and
say Hi.

3. Look at the formal practices: School bell schedule, and the grouping of students.
(ie. grades, block scheduling, periods) Does the school use inclusion, or a pull-
out program for special education students? >>>

This school is a turn-around school, students need to do a program called

evaluate on their chrome books so the school can monitor their progress. The
school does have a program for special education students. For special
education they call is resources. They also have a program called Gate. While I
was observing I did not hear a bell ring. There is a posted schedule and the
teacher just keeps track.
9:10- Reading
11:00- Lunch
11:30- Math
12:50- Specials
1:40- Writing
2:25- Social studies
2:55 RII

4. Observe student-to-student interactions, inside and outside of the building.

Observe where students gather to socialize – lunchroom, halls, playground, etc.

The students gather in the lunchroom and playground during recess. In the
hallways the students walk in quiet lines. No harsh play between them. If
they do start running I noticed some teachers make them walk back in
class to get back in line to make sure they are following directions.
Culture of the classroom:
1.Identify the school’s mission statement, motto, and mascot.

She makes sure everything is very visual for the students. She is constantly
walking around checking their work to make sure they are doing the work
correctly. She is very kind and caring.

2. Analyze staff and visitor interactions in the main office. Note student and faculty
interactions in other areas of the school. >>>

The girls participate more, boys are more quiet when t comes to answering
questions, but they do speak up to give their opinions. The teacher most of the
time will call on students who are not raising their hand to see if they are paying

Assignment 6:
The teacher was reading some pages from the book Lon Po Po. She had the
students follow along with their fingers. The student I observed gets easily
distracted by what other students are doing. The teacher would ask questions
and pick from a jar with the student’s names. The specific student did not get
called and he was still raising his wanting to answer. He gets impatient when
students would not answer correctly. He would be almost getting out of his seat
to answer the question. The student was definitely engaged but he wanted to be
answering all the questions. The teacher did have clear expectations and gave
out directions. Once the teacher finished asking questions about the reading she
started pairing them to work together and she picked their partners. I noticed that
the few girls in the classroom follow directions more so she paired him with a girl
student. Once she did, the student I am observing made a face like he did not
want to be her partner. While they were working together the student was working
well with her. The teacher did not have to keep them focused. I can see the
strategy the teacher used to get the male student to get his work done.

Assignment 5
Interview Question 1: What was the primary reason you became a teacher? >>>
She has a degree in social work and worked in that profession for 7 years
in Philadelphia. She liked social working but she said some days were really long
she would be off at 5 pm and end up getting home like until 1 am if a problem
occurred with the child she had a case for. After she had children she was a
house mom for 7 years and decided to get a teaching degree to have the same
schedule as her children. She said she saw many sad and terrible things that
children would go through and she wanted to focus more on her children. She
also grew up with family members having education careers as well. she likes
having summer off to be with her daughters which are all fairly young. Her
daughters attend the elementary school she teaches at.

Interview Question 2: What are the main challenges you face as a teacher? >>>
The main challenge she faces is handling many children at once. There is a lot of
multitasking. Everything is very important when it comes to teaching.

Interview Question 3: What is the best part of being a teacher? >>>

Getting to shape the youth. Also getting to work with kids. She enjoys her time
with them and they make her laugh at times.

Interview Question 4: How do you determine where students sit in class? >>>
She constantly changes the arrangements all the time. She spreads the students
out academically. Her classroom is very boy heavy so she tries to separate them
out as well.

Interview Question 5: How do you determine the members of any flexible groups? >>>
Behavior and academics. Lows tend to be behaviors also.

Interview Question 6: Beyond standardized testing, what assessments do you use

regularly? >>>
Formative and summative. Also mid unit tests.
Interview Question 7: What requirements are placed on you for reporting progress to
parents? >>>
Every 3 weeks they need to send out progress reports. She also uses DOJO to
communicate with parents.
Interview Question 8: How often do you interact with a student’s parents in person,
and what type of discussions do you typically have? >>>
Once a year parent conference. Sometimes at dismissal she will speak to parents
based on the issue. It is not always behavioral but academic as well. If the
student is struggling or if they are having better days.
Interview Question 9: How much grading do you complete on a daily/weekly basis?
On average 5-7 hours a week on grading.
Interview Question 10: How long does it take to prepare lessons for the day/week?
It takes very long. They need to be very structured. They have x7 around 30
lesson plans. Also need to have small math groups.
Interview Question 11: What procedures or strategies do you use to maximize
instructional time? >>>
She wears an invisible hat (A tiara for little girls that says I’m Invisible) She uses
it so her kids know not to interrupt. She wants them to use CHAMPS. When she
has the hat on she has them ask 3 students then the teacher. There is also guided
math on computers in groups.
Interview Question 12: What positive reinforcement programs have you had success
with, and what behavioral consequences seem most effective with this age group? >>>
The kids really enjoy DOJO points. They can earn points to get things. Some of
the kid’s favorite things are to get candy, eat lunch with the teacher. She will
either sit with them during lunch or she will buy a pizza for the students that have
more points. They also enjoy “Cool Dude” which is just the get to wear sun
glasses in class.
Interview Question 13: How are specialist teachers involved in the instructional
planning process? >>>
A computer program called fast forward. They are making sure students are
meeting standards. Reading intervention program. She said they want to
incorporate math questions into PE. For example, when they are picking
problems for the PE teacher to ask, “What is 8x7?” and whoever answers first
gets to pick their partner.
Interview Question 14: How often are you evaluated, and what measurement tool is
used by the administration for determining your teaching performance? >>>
NEPF. It has standards. 1 formal visit a year. New teachers have 5 a year. It is
probationary the first 3 years.
Interview Question 15: What consequences are there if your evaluation is not
favorable? >>>
My teacher has never been there. But they get action plans.
Interview Question 16: What types of support do you receive instructionally,
financially, or professionally from the school, parent organization or school district to
enhance instruction? >>>
As a school each teacher gets $124 a year. They have a church that provides for
students and teachers. The school allows the church to use their lunch room for
gatherings since they no not actually have a building for church. Their PTA is
also really god 5 or 6 parents that do everything.
Interview Question 17: What surprised you most about teaching as a profession? >>>
The amount of work outside of hours. Lesson planning. There is so more than
just teaching and grading.

Assignment 7
My overall experience was very enjoyable. I did not get discouraged from
continuing this career path. This teacher at first did seem a little disorganized and
I would think of better ways to control the classroom. Her kids are happy to be in
the classroom and from the most part I only noticed one student be absent
multiple times. She did tell me that she knows that student has a lot of family
crisis and sometimes has to walk 2 miles just to get to class and when he does
go she makes sure he knows she is proud of him. I enjoyed watching her
teaching style and being in an elementary classroom again. I can tell how this job
can get overwhelming when that one student that does not listen to anything or
does not get their work done can be irritating. There just has to be a way to have
a proper way of speaking to the child so they can get through and listen.