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Observation 3
Megan Waddell
Raritan Valley Community College
Professor Kimberly Schirner
April 25, 2019

EDUC 230 03 Field Experience

I. Observation #2:
Classroom Management and Routines

II. Grade Level and Subject Area:

Kindergarten through 8th grade Art Education

III. Setting:
The classroom is an art studio within a private school that teaches kindergarten
through eighth grade. There is one instructor that teaches multiple grades each

IV. Pre Observation:

Before observing the how the classroom is managed and the routines that
are practiced, I would expect the art classroom to be somewhat organized. Being
that it is an art classroom, I do understand if it does get a little chaotic at times. It
should be the instructors job to maintain order in the classroom and keep
everyone focused at the task at hand. “...preserving order in the classroom is one
of the primary tasks of teaching, and classroom management is still one of the
leading concerns of teachers” (Polczynski, 2013). There is a need for focus in the
classroom and it is vital to making progress during a lesson.
When if comes to routines, I feel that older students, such as those in
middle school, should be able to handle a more hectic schedule while those is the
elementary grades might work better with a similar routine every day. When
addressing the younger students routines, the instructor should try to find a
consistent pattern that works. “The uses of routines are important not only for
giving children a sense of security and confidence, but also to guide them in
developing a culture of thinking” (Salmon, 2010). This is just another aspect of
education that they can learn and grow through.

V. Data:
● The classes, which are first through eighth grade, tend to vary in size. The
instructor can teach 3 students at a time, all the way up to 15.
● The classes who have 10 or more students tend to be louder than those with less
● The lower students have a hand signal called “artist code” that means they need to
quiet down and listen. The middle school grades did not seem to use this signal
even when the class got loud and disruptive.
● There are no assigned seats for any grade but occasionally the instructor will
assign seats to certain students that a talking or not paying attention during
● When students come to class, the often do not go straight to their seats and may
wander around the classroom playing with materials and other projects.

● At the end of the class, many students rush out of the classroom without cleaning
up their materials. The instructor usually allows 10 minutes for cleanup but most
students continue to work or just do not clean up.
● The school rotates on a six day schedule.
● The instructor only meets with each grade once throughout the six day schedule.
Grades 6 through 8 are separated into 2 groups: target and advanced.
● The whole school has school meetings in the morning on various days of the
● The middle school grades have one lunch period before the lower school. Then
the lower school grades eat together when the middle school students leave.
● Students can work in clubs or other classrooms during their lunch period.
● There are two recess periods throughout the day that last about 15 minutes. Every
grade participates in this.
● My instructor offers ‘free art’ at one of the recesses so students have to
opportunity to catch up on work.
● At the end of the day, the whole school participates in academic study which is a
study hall period. The students are supposed to work on homework or any
unfinished projects. They recently had issues with students not be productive and
running around the halls so they enforced the supervision during this time.

VI. Analysis:
The classroom surprised me as to how hectic it can become with some of
the larger classes. Mostly the upper school grades have the tendency to become
loud. This could be due to their larger class size or their talkative nature. The
lower grades were smaller and this could lead them to be calmer since there is less
activity. I found that the instructor had to repeat herself multiple times when
giving instructions or doing a demonstration. The older students lost focus and
found their friends more important than the plan for that class.
I appreciate that my instructor was able to be so flexible with her schedule.
Sometimes students would just show up to open art and she was able to stop her
prep time and switch gears in order to help them with whatever they needed.
“...skill-flexible teachers performed better at work than non skill-flexible
teachers” (Rosenblatt, 1999). Being able to take any change that was thrown at
her is definitely a great skill to have in the classroom. There are some days where
a schedule will change and it is important to see how an instructor will act on the
change. My cooperating teacher is able to accept any changed and roll with it.

VII. Recommendations:
Since the instructor had difficulty keeping order in the room, she might
need to set some ground rules or expectations for the students. Making sure your
students respect you and what you have to teach them is very important.
“...teachers should establish(ed) clear expectations for behavior in two ways: by
establishing clear rules and procedures and by providing consequences for student
behavior” (Kendall, 2015). Through this consistency, students may understand
that it is important for them to be respectful of the order of the room. It will be

much easier for her to proceed through lessons when everyone is paying attention
and fully understanding what the plan is.
Another recommendation is to write down your schedule. While she was
okay with change, she might find it more manageable if she creates a planner or
checklist. She can add things if plans change last minute and cross off others to
make the rest of the week seem less hectic. Tasks can seem more stressful when
they’re in your mind but seeing them in front of you can make it feel more

VIII. Post Observation:

Through this observation I was able to learn good skills to manage a
classroom and a schedule. Sometimes a classroom will get out of hand but as an
instructor, you need to address the situation and find a solution for it. It can be
done by addressing expected behaviors or even a simple hand signal. Managing a
classroom seemed like a scary task before I focused in on it, but now it seems like
a very doable task. There are different techniques that work for various classes so
it’s all about what works best with your students.
An educator’s schedule can get out of hand pretty quick. Especially when
you’re teaching eight different grades like my instructor is. I personally have
always found a physical planner very helpful. Knowing exactly what you are
planning for the students each week can be comforting and decrease some stress.
Knowing you won’t forget any plans or meetings can make the days go by easier
and more productively.

IX. Citation:
Kendall, L. T. (2015). Academic practices to gain and maintain student-teacher
connectedness and classroom behavioral management, related to educator
demographics (Order No. 10030343). Available from Education Database.
(1773972498). Retrieved from
Polczynski, C. M. (2013). Virginia's elementary art educators' beliefs of teacher
efficacy and pupil control (Order No. 3601539). Available from ProQuest
Central. (1466585211). Retrieved from
Rosenblatt, Z., & Inbal, B. (1999). Skill flexibility among schoolteachers:
Operationalization and organizational implications. Journal of Educational
Administration, 37(4), 345-366. Retrieved from
Salmon, A. K. (2010). Engaging young children in thinking routines. Childhood
Education, 86(3), 132-137. Retrieved from