St. Marys School - Kindergarten
TOPIC: Visit to a Classroom
- How is the classroom arranged and decorated. This classroom was filled with colors, pictures, the ABC's, numbers, prayer posters, toys on the shelves, and lots of books as well. Over in the corner where they read the wall was a wall filled with things the 'leader' of the day completes such as; the date including the month and day of the week, what day yesterday was and what day tomorrow is, the weather and how it feels outside, and the letter of the week. This classroom was decorated very well in my eyes. It really grabbed my attention in a way that was not too distracting, but very welcoming.
- How does the classroom differ from the gymnasium as an educational setting? First of all there are desks and chairs where the students may complete work at. There are book shelves that hold books for the students to read or the class to read together. The walls are packed with information for the students to look at.
- How would you describe the classroom atmosphere? This classroom was a bit wild. I know the students are young, but I am used to seeing them run around in the gym, and I guess I did not realize they still do that in a classroom as well. The teacher went to school for PE ironically, and she stated that is part of the reason she tries to really get the kids moving while in the class. They held great organization which helped the atmosphere stay clean.
- What was the topic and structure of the portion of the lesson you observed? While observing, I saw the students come from PE class and they got to play for about 10 minutes. There was toys literally everywhere. Once the teacher told them to clean up, they did so pretty fast. It was story time and the topic of the lesson I observed was the letter K. They read a book all about K and a bunch of words that started with K. While sitting on the carpet, the students were asked questions throughout the book and the teacher really encouraged each different student to answer at times. After the book, the students went over the date, weather, and days of the week.
- How would you describe the language and literacy levels of the students? From my observation the students were actively engaged throughout the lesson. While in the classroom, I did not see the students work on reading or writing which really inhibited me to see the literacy levels of the students. However listening to the students talk and learn, their language levels varied. Some of the students could interpret sign language into words which I thought at this level was great. Other students had a hard time with this task and had others help them figure out what the sign was.
- How did the teacher engage the students in the lesson segment that you observed? From the very beginning the students were engaged. Every activity the teacher stopped throughout to ask a question to a certain student. They also sang a couple songs that involved movement. They were all enjoying themselves and the procedures seemed to work smoothly.
- How would you describe the social behaviors of students in this age group? This age group really has a lot of small telling on each other. If someone stole a toy, they were quick to come up to me or the teacher to let us know. They are easily distracted, however when they are involved they are all in. Some students were off on their own doing their own thing while others stuck right next to a friend. It was interesting to me to see the different developmental signs socially for the students. Popularity starts at such a young age, its a no wonder why high school is so harsh.
- What did you learn from this observation that will help you teach this age group more effectively? This age group seems to be able to handle smaller bits of information at a time. Rather than throwing everything at them at once, I learned that it is better to give them one task at a time. Repetition is very important during this learning age. I believe that the more lively the teacher is, the more the students will want to be involved. They really do respect structure, and they need it right now.
- What other insights did you gain from this observation? I had once thought I could be happy teaching in a classroom. And the more I think about, or see how it goes, I realize that I am not that type of teacher. Yes I could handle it, and I think I could be pretty good at being a classroom teacher. But I truly believe that my heart is set on getting students active and teaching about a lifestyle.