Secondary Field Observation Report EDUC 2010 Human Growth and Learning Field Competency #10: Secondary Understanding the Setting Specific Activities: 1. Room Layout and Use A. Physical Layout- The class I observed was a communication course containing students from grades 9-12. Communication courses include journalism, newspaper, and yearbook. Size wise the classroom was relatively large which would provide the students and teachers with ample room to move around and work in large or small groups. Compared to the elementary classrooms we observed the high school classroom was pretty dull and lackluster. The walls were the typical beige color with industrial gray carpet that you find in most schools. The physical layout of the room contributes to the physical domain. The walls in the room were beige which does not provide much stimulation, but that could possibly be a good thing. The plain color would not distract the children from doing their work. The majority of the classroom, except under the cabinets, was carpeted. The carpeted environment allows the children to feel more comfortable in their surroundings. The carpeted floor makes the room seem more inviting and warm, compared to a vinyl floor, which makes the room feel cold and sterile. The size of the tables, chairs, cabinets, and equipment also contribute to the physical domain. The tables and chairs were the correct height for the students. The size of the tables and chairs is important because it allows the students to be more comfortable in their surroundings. One thing that is good about the chairs was that they were adjustable height. This is a great thing to have because it allows the students to adjust the height of the chair to fit their needs. The cabinets and equipment were also the correct height for the students. It appeared that the majority of the materials the students would need to get, they would have no trouble getting. The book shelf in the corner and the wall of cabinets are easily accessible. This is important because the students could collect their materials and get back to work without wasting too much time. Overall the physical layout of the room contributed to the physical domain. There were two bulletin boards next to the dry-erase board that had posters on them, and a couple of them were class rules and emergency procedure information, such as where to go in case of a fire or tornado. There was also a poster of deadlines for yearbook submissions. This would be good for the students because they would always be reminded of their obligations and they could be more responsible because they know exactly what they have to get done and when they have to get it done. This would have a positive effect on the cognitive domain because the students are learning to be responsible for themselves. Although the room contained a few posters, the physical layout of the room did not really support cognitive development of adolescents. The physical layout of the room also supported the affective development of adolescents. The arrangement of the desks allowed the students to work in close
proximity to one another, which would allow them to share materials, as well as ask questions. It would also allow the children to work together in groups. The desks were arranged around the perimeter of the room. There were two computers to every desk and 17 computers in all. This would provide the children a lot of space to work and give them the opportunity to work with a variety of people. The arrangement of tables in the center of the room is also good for the affective domain because it would give the students a place where they can work together in small groups. It would also give the children the opportunity to work with new and different people that they usually do not work with. Overall the physical layout of the room supports the physical and affective domain to an extent but did not greatly contribute to the cognitive domain of adolescents. B. Accommodations of Instructor- It is important for a teacher to make accommodations to meet the student’s needs. It is important to consider the children when setting up the room. Something the teacher should consider is the placement of the desks. In this class the desks, except for the two pods, were all facing the wall. This would help the students from being distracted by the other students in the class. Although this would eliminate some of the distraction it is not very conducive to lectures. For the majority of the time the teacher talked to the students backs, which is probably not the best thing. The placement of the furniture was helpful because it gave the children an opportunity to work with other students and the layout provided the students and teacher with plenty of room to move about. Although there were a lot of items in the room, it did not feel overly crowded or cramped. Another accommodation the teacher made was the size of the furniture. The desks and tables were the correct height for the children and the adjustable chair allowed the students to customize the chair to the correct height for themselves. Typically adjustable chairs are also plush, which means they are much more comfortable than the traditional desk chair. The equipment the children used was also appropriate for their age. The majority of the students were working on the computers. The computers allow the children to learn about technology through hands on experiences. C. Ratio of Adults to Children- In Ms. Smith communications class at Bellevue West there was 1 teacher and 23 students, 17 girls and 6 boys. The class is a prerequisite to yearbook and contained students in grades 9-12. The ratio of adults to children was 1:23, or 1 teacher to 23 students. This is probably not the greatest ratio but it is pretty typical of high school classes. Although Ms. Smith was quite outnumbered she did not seem too overwhelmed or that she could not handle her students. The ratio does not allow for much one-on-one time, but Ms. Smith walked around the room talking to the groups and making sure they knew what they were doing. I do not know if it was the size of the class or the students in the class, but there were times when Ms. ABC did not have very good control of her class, further evaluation of the teacher and the students would be needed to determine the cause. D. Comparison to Other Levels- The physical environment of the secondary observation greatly differs from the early childhood and middle childhood observations that we had. With each observation there are some major differences. For example in the early childhood observation there were designated learning stations. In the middle
childhood observation there were no designated learning stations, but perceived work areas. In the secondary observation there were no learning areas, because they are not needed. In early childhood there are specific activities that the children do throughout the day. They have reading time, or art time, but in high school the students move from classroom from classroom based on what class they have. In the classroom I was in there were no learning areas. I would imagine that in certain classes, such as science or art, there would be designated areas. In a science class for example, there would most likely be a lecture area and a lab area and probably a similar set up in an art class. It would be pointless for a math class to have a section for arts and crafts. Another large difference between the environment of the early and middle childhood observation and the secondary observation is the physical look and feel of the room. The early childhood classroom was brightly colored. The walls were covered with posters of all kinds. Everywhere you looked in the classroom there were posters and pictures and color, but as the child gets older there is less room decoration. Even the middle childhood classroom had less visual stimulation. There were still posters but it was not at all like the early childhood classroom. The secondary classroom was night and day from these observations. There was pretty much nothing stimulating on the walls. There were a few posters, but for the most part it was information. They had the emergency procedure information as well as yearbook deadlines on the wall. There was also a rack of newspapers, but beyond that the room was pretty dull and uninspired. It would not be a good atmosphere for young children to work in. I think even though the secondary children are older, the room should still provide some sort of stimulation for them. 2. Floor Plan A. Resources/Materials for Learning- This classroom was unique from the rest of the classrooms we have been in because the classroom was filled with computers. There were 17 computers in the room, which is a great resource and material for learning. The classroom I was in was a communications class, which means the students use the computer to make their newspapers and yearbooks, therefore it is an important tool. Besides the fact that the students can use the computers to complete their assignments, the computers are a great resource to look up information. If the students have a question instead of asking the teacher they can try to find the answer for themselves. From a newspaper stand point it would also be helpful to have computers in the classroom, because the students would be able to communicate with the other students via email if they were taking a survey or something. The computers also provide a great learning too. There was a projector in the room and the teacher demonstrated the process of pulling up specific information and creating new charts. While the teacher was explaining this and showing it on the computer the students could follow her actions on their own computer. This would be very useful because as the teacher is explaining something the students would be able to follow along with her. The teacher could also pull up diagrams, past articles, or videos on the computer to help demonstrate something to the students. Computers are a great asset in the classroom. As far as materials go there were several books, magazines, newspaper articles, and yearbooks for the children to use and look at. There was an entire bookshelf filled
with past yearbooks and textbooks to help the students come up with ideas or actually implement their own ideas. It is a good idea to have examples of how things were done in the past because the students can get ideas from them. The class I observed was mainly working on the newspaper aspect of communications, but they would still be able to benefit from past articles. The students could read an article to see how previous students dealt with a serious issue. Learning from the past is the best way to deal with the present and the future. The textbooks the students had were also important for learning. The information presented in the textbook and the way it was presented was appropriate for the age of the children. The books were small and lightweight making it easy for the children to carry them around. The font was also large enough to be easily read and there were some pictures to help the students understand what was being discussed. B. Movable and Permanent Fixtures- There were not very many permanent fixtures in the room but there were several movable fixtures. Compared to the elementary classroom we observed there was quite a bit of storage. There was a cabinet that took up nearly the entire back wall. The cabinets were incredibly large and probably contained supplies or other resources such as past newspapers, yearbooks, textbooks, or videos for example. There was also a bookshelf and magazine rack in the room. These materials would be helpful to students if they needed ideas or if they had down time. This would be helpful to students when they had down time because they would be having fun looking through all the old yearbooks but they would still be mentally capturing images and ideas that they might be able to reproduce at a later time. Bookcases are a great addition to the classroom because it allows the children to be somewhat independent and get the supplies when they need them. There were also several tables in the room where the students and teachers could work at. There were not enough computers for every student but during our observation they were working in groups. The six large tables in the center of the room would be a good place for the students to work in groups. Unlike the computer desks the chairs at the large tables in the center of the room, were the normal desk chairs, not as comfortable, but just as functional. Although not everyone is able to have their own computer there is plenty of room for all the students to sit. The teacher also had her own desk. It was angled in the corner and there was another in the front of the room. Either of these desks would provide the teacher with a good angle to watch the students and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. The windows are another permanent fixture in the room. There were only two windows located in the room and they were found in the upper right hand corner of the room. They were the average size windows but they let in quite a bit of additional light. Having windows in the classroom is good because it lets in natural light and warmth and makes the room appear more open. In fact because we were in a computer lab of sorts it was rather warm, so the teacher had the window open a little to let some of the warm air out and let some cooler air in. Windows can also make the child feel more comfortable and not as confined. Sometimes rooms without windows can feel kind of suffocating, so they are a nice addition to the room. The only downside about windows is that sometimes they can distract the children if they see someone walk by or something. In this case, a parking lot could be seen through the windows, which most likely would not cause a lot
of distractions, and it helps that the majority of the tables were facing away from the window. C. Traffic Patterns- The traffic pattern of the room was fairly good. It was easy to get from one area of the room to the other without tripping over anything, or having to change directions dramatically. The arrangement of the desks around the perimeter of the room is good because it is probably the best use of space and it allows the students to easily get in and out of their desks. The set up also makes it easier for the students to talk with one another if they have a question about something. The arrangement of the desks is good because the teacher can easily get to the students if they have a question. The space between the outer perimeter of desks and the center tables was large enough that people could easily move between it. In fact the space was large enough that people could be coming and going through the same are and not bump into one another. Although there were two computers to each table there was till enough space between the students that they could work on their material. There was enough space to put a notebook or something next to the computer without invading the space of the person next to you. It is important to leave enough space between the students so they do not distract each other. The room was easy to get around in with no difficulty. No one was bumping into each other or tripping over each other. Even though there was quite a bit of material in the room it was not overly cluttered and everything had its place. It appears the arrangement of desks around the perimeter of the room is the best use of space and allows the teacher to observe and interact with the students much more easily. Overall the floor plan of the room is set up very nicely. Please see the attached room diagram for a walkthrough of the traffic pattern. Field Competency #11: Secondary The Nature of Instruction Specific Activities Use vocabulary learned in course content (operant conditioning, scaffolding, etc.) in your report. 1. Teacher-Centered, Child-Centered, or Variation A. Instructional Strategies/Techniques- There were several instructional strategies that took place during this observation. The beginning of class was whole group instruction. Ms. ABC was presenting the students with information on what she wanted them to do. She was using the computer and the projector to walk the students through the steps of how to complete the activity. Typically in secondary education there is a lot of whole group instruction. Whole group instruction is a good strategy because it allows the teacher to present information to everyone at one time. Whole group settings allow the students to bounce ideas off each other. For example if the teacher asks a question and one student answers and they are close but not correct, another student could branch off of what the previous student just said. Whole group settings in high school are a bit different than in earlier grades in that after every question most of the students do not raise their hand wanting to answer. Secondary students are at the age where they care what people think about them, which may cause them to not participate in class as much.
As a result the teacher may end up answering her or his own questions. Whole group settings are a great way to present information or to do demonstrations but it is not necessarily the best atmosphere for working together. Once Ms. Smithpresented the class with the information they got in their groups (which had been previously determined) and began to work on their assignment. The majority of the class time was used for independent seatwork and small group activities. Although I said the students got into small groups to work on the assignment, there were several groups where only one person was working. There were several children who were working by themselves, either because they did not have a group or there group was not working. Whatever the cause, independent seatwork is good for children because it allows them to figure out things on their own and work at their own pace. One boy in particular, a freshman, was working very diligently on his assignment. He was working by himself, while the girl who was sitting next to him was talking to the people around her. Some of the students took a lot longer than others to complete their assignment and the majority of the students barely got started. Independent seatwork is good because it helps the student identify their own strengths and weakness and become more independent. If the student is used to the teacher answering all their questions and telling them how to do specific things, the student will not learn. Independent seatwork allows the children to think for themselves. During independent seatwork there was also some one-on-one instruction. Oneon-one instruction is great because it gives the student a chance to ask the teacher a question and have them answer it just for them. It allows for better understanding because the teacher can continue to rephrase and describe the answer or situation until the student understands. One-on-one time also helps the teacher because it allows them to see if the student really understands. Ms. Smithwas working with the same student for quite a while trying to help her format her paper. There were specific measurements that the paper had to be and the girl was not able to get them correct. Finally with the help of Ms. Smiththe girl was able to format her paper correctly. One-on-one instruction is a great thing and can often be more beneficial than other instructional methods. Small group work was the last instructional strategy that I observed at the secondary level. The students were given information and a task and asked to work in groups to complete the assignment. Small group activities can either be a good thing or a bad thing. Small groups allow students to work together, but this also means that the students may end up talking the entire time instead of working. This was partly the case in the class I observed. The majority of the groups were not doing what they were supposed to. I only noticed one group actually complete the assignment, or come close to completing the assignment. The rest of the 20 students in class spent their time talking with the other students and kind of messing around. Although sometimes small group activities do not work most of the time they work well. Small group activities are good because it allows the students to work closely with other classmates towards a common goal. This is an example of cooperative learning. Cooperative learning involves the students working towards a common goal and this can be seen when the children were split into small groups to complete the activity Ms. Smithdescribed. They were supposed to redo a page of the newspaper, making it new and creative. The students had to work together to come up with a new idea and make sure that it fits within the standards. One group of three students, two girls and one boy,
worked really well together, and were able to complete their assignment. They were constantly asking each other questions and trying new things to determine what looked the best. In the end it appeared that the students were able to work together and come up with a new and interesting layout for the newspaper page. There was not a whole lot of behavior modification during this observation, although maybe there should have been. I suppose it is like that old saying “pick your battles” but there were certain things that I as an observer was getting frustrated with. The majority of the class for the majority of the time was not doing what they were supposed to. They were sitting at their computers, talking or playing music. Less than half the class was doing what they were supposed to be doing. As a teacher I think something should have been said about that. Ms. Smithdid not really seem to care that the students were not doing anything. She told us ahead of time that her students were kind of rambunctious, but I still think she should have said something to gain control of her class. I did not hear her tell the students to get to work at all, which is probably the least she could have done. The only time I really saw some behavior modification was when girl in a blue sweatshirt was drawing a Christmas tree on the dry-erase board. Ms. Smithtold her not to draw on the board and the girl stopped. I am glad that I saw some behavior modification, but I guess I was just a little disappointed with how lose she was with the class, but at the same time it is hard to make someone do something they do not want to do. Now I am just incredibly confused on how the situation should have been handled. Personally I think as a teacher you need to have control of your class and if the majority of the class is not doing what they are supposed to be doing, you need to figure out how to get that control back. B. Teacher/Student Roles- The teacher and studnets took on several roles during this observation. The teacher from this observation was both an initiator and facilitator. Ms. Smithwas an initiator during the beginning of the class when she presented the information to the class in a way that the students could understand. Ms. Smithwas an initiator because she started a lot of the conversations. She presented the information and waited to see if the studnets understood the material. Although she was an initiator she was also a facilitator. Instead of just giving the students the answers she worked with them to come up with the correct answer. For example, at the beginning of class she asked the students how to find a specific aspect of a program. She waited for the students to give her the answer instead of just telling them what it was. Allowing the students to discover their own answer is a good example of the teacher being a facilitator. The children in this classroom played several roles. For the majority of the observation the children were followers. In the elementary classroom we observed the children seemed to be gauging their time based on the other students, but in the secondary observation no one was really doing anything. I think they were responding to each other. The students noticed that their classmates were not doing anything, so they in response did not do anything either. The students were also responders to an extent. When Ms. Smithtold them to do something some of them did what she asked. The students also responded to questions from the other students. There were a couple of times when one student would ask another student how to do something and the student would show them how. It was kind of difficult to determine the roles of the students because for the most part they did not do much.
I think it is kind of interesting to note the difference between the elementary observation and the secondary observation when it comes to the roles of the students and teachers. For the elementary observation I said the students were initiators, because they started a lot of the conversations with their questions, but in the secondary observations the teacher was the initiator, like you would think. In the younger grades the children are more interested in learning and want to take part in the activities, but in the older grades the students (at least in the class I observed) tend to not want to participate. It definitely seemed that the children in the elementary observation had more desire and will to learn than the students I observed during the secondary observation. C. Mediators/Learning Tools- There were several mediators and learning tools employed by the teachers and the students in the classroom. One of the major learning tools is the use of technology, such as the projector and the computers. The teacher used the projector to visually and aurally walk the students through the process of opening up the program and getting started. Projectors are a great thing to have in the classroom because it allows the teacher to show the information she or he is discussing. It also helps the children learn more about technology through hands on experience. The students would be able to make a PowerPoint or movie and show it to the class using the projector. The use of computers in the classroom is also a great learning tool. The computers would allow the students to learn about technology and gain a better understanding of how it works. The students would be able to more easily make their newspaper and see how everything looks before they finish. They would also be able to make PowerPoint’s or movies to present information to the class. The computers would also be great to help the students find past articles or research information for their story. Computers are a great learning tool for students. The use of technology in the communications class I observed is the biggest and most important mediator/learning tool. D. Adapted Instruction- One of the major things the teacher did to adapt instruction for differentiated learning was the use of visuals. When she was explaining how to open the program and how to get started she showed the students step by step how to go about doing that. While she was explaining and showing how to do certain things the students were following along. The teacher described the process slowly and made sure that everyone was following along with her. There was one time when she paused for a while and I realized she noticed one of the students could not find the item. She went back and showed them how to find it again. I thought that was good because she did not embarrass the student or make a scene out of the fact that she could not find the item. By doing that step over in front of the whole class it kept that student from felling ashamed or stupid that she missed the step. Another important thing the teacher id was when ever she wanted to talk to a specific student, or ask them a question, she would always address them by name instead of just pointing to them. By saying the student’s name it gets their attention, and they can answer the question or do what needs to be done. It gives the child a specific task to complete. 2. Assumptions of Teacher- There were several assumptions held by the teacher in the
classroom about how secondary students learn. One assumption the teacher made was that students understood what was being said. In order to make sure the students understood what was being asked of them, the teacher physically demonstrated what she wanted them to do and showed them examples. She assumed that after she showed them how to go about bringing up the program and getting started the students would have a better understanding of what they were suppose to do. The teacher also assumed that it would take a certain amount of time to complete the task. It appeared that she assumed the students could complete most of the assignment during the one class period and then finish it up next class period, but that was not necessarily the case. The majority of the students were not working on the project like they should be, so it took longer than she originally thought it would. Unlike the other teachers we have observed Ms. Smithdid not use as much repetition when giving directions. I know that younger children need repetition, but I would assume that secondary students need repetition also. Children, especially early childhood, and elementary students have to be told something over and over before they will understand, which is why repetition is important. I would assume that repetition is still important for secondary students as well. In the previous observations the teachers assumed that the students would remember things better through repetition, but this teacher assumed that the students would remember the information after just hearing it once. With that being said, I am assuming that this is one of the first times the students have been presented with that information and that could be my mistake. 3. Connecting Behavior with Knowledge A. Characteristics of Course Content- The students in this class displayed a lot of things that were similar to what we have learned in class, but also things that are different than what we have learned in class. One thing I noticed in particular among a couple of the girls was the idea of an imaginary audience. We were sitting at a table in the middle of the room before the student came into the classroom. The students noticed us as soon as they walked in the room but none of them really seemed to care. There was this one girl who kept looking over as we were beginning to take notes. She even asked the teacher who we were and why we were there. The teacher told her that we were students from UNO and we were here to observe the students. The girl said something like “there her to observe us?” She was constantly looking over at us possibly wondering if we were writing something about her. At one point she asked the student sitting around her how long they thought her and this other girl had been friends. She was really making a big deal about it and she appeared kind of annoyed when the other students did not seem to care. It is very possible that she just likes all the attention. School transitions is an important thing to discuss because the majority of the students at Bellevue West are military children and have probably moved numerous times. The class I was in the majority of the children were kind of obnoxious but I do not know if that has to do with the fact that they have moved so many times or what. Military life is hard and it is very possible that their grades have suffered as a result of all the moving. It would be difficult to move around so much, because each time you enter a new school and make new friends you have to pack up and leave everything behind. I think it would have been interesting to know who in the class had moved a round a lot. There were several students in class who definitely had heightened self-
confidence and self-esteem. It appeared that these students definitely thought very highly of themselves. It is interesting how sometimes just by looking at a person you can tell how they feel about themselves. There was definitely a variety of students in the class. There were a couple students, including the girl I mentioned earlier, that definitely thought very highly of themselves. It was obvious by looking at the way they dressed and how they acted. There were also students who did not seem very confident with themselves. They were standoffish and did not talk to the rest of the students. It could also be that they just do not know anybody in class and do not like meeting new people. Cooperative learning is another thing that was observed in the classroom. Cooperative learning means that students learn better with people than by themselves. Cooperative learning is important because it allows the students to learn from people who are most like them, they learn from their peers. Cooperative learning can be seen when the students were working in groups to redo the newspaper layout. Cooperative learning is important for children to understand because it is something that they will do for the rest of their lives. Once they figure out that they learn better with people at their same level, they will continue to use that to their advantage. B. Specific Behavior Examples- The majority of the class was very social and energetic and for the majority of the time the room was incredibly noisy. Usually it is noisy before class starts because the students are catching up with their friends or what not, but this noise continued throughout the class. The majority of the students wee quite when the teacher was presenting the information at the beginning of class, but as soon as she let them get to work the noise level went up greatly. Several of the students were very sociable, always talking with the other students. Some of the students would ask their classmate’s questions about the assignment, but the majority of the students had conversations about things that were not at all relevant to the class. Several of the students were discussing what they did for Thanksgiving and how they could not wait for this winter break. That was definitely something that I could relate to. We were already in the classroom prior to all the students arriving and when they finally cam in the classroom they all looked at us. Some of them continued to look at us throughout the class trying to figure out who we were and what we were doing their. As soon as I would look at them they would look away and go back to work, or go back to pretending to work. It did not seem that we were bothering them, but it was obvious that they were wondering who we were and what we were doing there. Something that I thought was interesting was being able to compare the students of different ages. The communications class we were in had students from grades 9 though 12. It was interesting to see how the different grades interacted with one another. It was easy to pick out the freshman, because they are smaller than everyone else and it was kind of easy to tell the seniors, but the sophomores and juniors looked about the same. The one boy with blond hair, a black long sleeve shirt, blue athletic pants, and Adidas was obviously a freshman. He was smaller than the rest of his class and he was working very hard. When I was in high school we would always say that you could tell the freshman because they were the only ones doing anything, although we know that is not true. It appeared that the ages kind of stuck together, except for this one group who had two freshman girls, a sophomore boy, and a junior boy. I think it is interesting to
observe the dynamics of people, and see how they pick the people they do to hangout with. It is difficult to connect the terms we learned in class to the students without really knowing them. A lot of the terms require some knowledge of the child, and we did not get the opportunity to speak with the students. Overall I would say that the students were very social and energetic. Field Competency #12: Secondary Developmental Observation-Case Study Outline for the Study of an Individual Child 1. Physical Domain A. Description- The girl I observed was a 17 or 18 year old named Brea. She is a senior at Bellevue West. She was wearing a blue sweatshirt with a pink shirt sticking out of the bottom, with blue pants, and pink boots. Her brown hair was in a half pony, she was wearing headphones for the majority of class, and her black backpack matched her nail-polish. Brea was sitting pretty much by herself but seem to be in good condition and content in her surroundings. B. Physical Development- Brea appeared to be about five foot five and a medium to large build, probably weighting 135 to 140 pounds. She appeared to be the right weight for her height. Compared to the other girls Brea appeared to be about average. There were several girls in the class who were very thin and a couple girls who were a little hefty, but Brea appeared to be at the average weight for her height and in good health. Brea had good motor ability both gross and fine. Brea had good large or gross motor ability. She was able to walk quickly with no difficulty. She could easily go from a sitting position to a standing position and back to a seated position. Brea also appeared to have good coordination. When she got up to leave class she stood up and was able to maneuver out of the room with no difficulty. She had good balance and perception of her surroundings. Brea also had good small or fine motor skills. She was able to hold and write with a pen, turn the pages of her book, type on the keyboard, and use the mouse with no trouble. She was also able to pick up her pen off the floor and hook her headphones into the plug. Overall I would say that Brea had good motor ability and muscle control. It was somewhat difficult to tell what Brea’s activity level was because for the majority of the class she was sitting at her desk. For the majority of the class she was static. She was not kicking her legs, taping her pen on her desk, or doing anything like that. Occasionally she would mouth the words to the song she was listening to, but besides turning the page of her book or changing the song, she did not really do much. It is important to take into consideration that this is the first day back from break and the class is right after lunch, so it is possible that she was just incredibly lethargic. I would have to say that Brea was rather inactive. 2. Cognitive Domain A. Language Development- It is difficult to determine Brea’s language
development because for the most part she did not say anything. I only heard her speak a couple of times when she was answering a classmate’s question. From the brief sentences I heard her say it appears that she is at the right stage developmentally. She was able to answer the question with no difficultly and did not have to search for the words. From what I heard it appeared that her pronunciation was good and it was easy to understand what she was saying. She did not talk about herself so I did not hear many descriptive words or phrases. Brea was also able to form sentences well. All her sentences were well developed and had a complete thought. She was also able to explain herself well enough to make sure the girl understood her answer. Brea appeared to have an average vocabulary. There was nothing extraordinary about it. She was able to answer the girls question with no trouble. Brea was also working by herself while the majority of the students were working in groups. This leads me to believe that she does better by herself. It seemed that she felt comfortable enough with her language and intelligence to answer the question for the girl. It appeared that she had a good vocabulary, both in understand and in use. I did not hear her using overgeneralizations or influencing the other students through her words, mostly because I did not hear her speak much. B. Intellectual Development- Brea appeared to be of average intelligence. There was nothing that really stood out from what she was saying or doing that indicated high intelligence. She was able to give complete sentences and reason things through. When she was having trouble with a part of her assignment she looked in her newspaper handbook to help her figure out what to do. To me, that shows intelligence because she was able to find the answer for herself without having to ask the teacher. For the most part Brea did not seem to have trouble with the new concepts they were learning in class. She seemed to catch on to how to use the program rather quickly. I would not say that she was overly curious about what was going on in the classroom. In fact for the most part she did not seem to care. She was reading her newspaper handbook and working on the assignment, but for the most part it appeared that she would rather listen to her music. It did not really appear to me that she was all that interested in her communications class. 3. Affective Domain A. Social Development- Brea did not have many interactions with the other students. In fact the only time she talked to another student was when the girl asked her a question. When the girl asked her a question, Brea had no trouble answering but as soon as she did, she went right back to work. Although she did not have the best interaction skills with the students she was able to interact well with the teacher. Ms. Smithcame over to make sure she was doing alright, and Brea said she was fine and showed Ms. Smithwhat she had done. She was able to follow the rules and instructions that were given to her and had no trouble behaving in class. B. Emotional Development- Brea appeared to be rather independent. She never asked for much assistance on anything. When she was asked to do something he did it, no questions asked. Emotionally Brea appeared to be kind of withdrawn and insecure. She did not talk to anyone around her, or look around the room to see what the other students
were doing. She sat in her chair listening to her music. She sat at the pod in the front of the room and there was no one else at that pod. There were two students at the pod behind her, but that is it. It is kind of hard to tell from the limited amount of time we had to complete the observation if she is like that all the time or if it could just be that she does not know anyone in class. That is very possible. People who are shy and do not know anyone in class, tend to sit by themselves, or they sit around people and just never really say anything. I would say because of her limited interaction with the other students, her place to sit in the classroom, and her overall attitude that she was limited self-esteem and self-value. For the most part Brea seemed to be in a good mood. She did not seem utterly unhappy. In fact at one point she was listening to a song and singing along, well not actually singing out loud, she was moving her lips, she seemed rather happy. I do not know, maybe the song made her feel good or something. Brea did not seem sad though, she just seemed content with her surroundings. It is really hard to try to understand people without actually being able to talk to them. It is possible that she was just really focused on her work and did not want to be distracted by talking to the other students. Overall I would say that Brea is a little insecure, but appeared to be happy and satisfied with herself and what she was doing. Conclusion and Reflection Describe how the observation experience better helped you as a teacher candidate to understand a child at this particular age and stage of development. Include any personal observations or analyses that are relevant to this study. This secondary observation was great experience. I have to admit probably the greatest part of the observation was sitting in the teachers lounge. I know that sounds kind of strange but I really learned a lot. I was sitting with the communications teacher, Ms. ABC the drama teacher, and the music teacher. It was fun to hear about their experiences in teaching and all of that, but the really interesting part was how the teachers were sitting. I mean the artsy people, where I was sitting, were at one end of the lounge and the math and science teachers were at the other end of the lounge. There was a huge table in between them and when they walked past each other to get to the table or go to the refrigerator they did not even so much as say hello to each other. I guess I am not really surprised that teachers do that. I mean I noticed teachers at my high school do that, but it was just kind of amusing. Even though they are all teachers and adults, they still separate themselves like they are in high school. I also found it amusing that the math and science teachers were discussing television shows. I think it is interesting to hear teachers talk about television shows. I mean I know teachers watch television, but it is interesting to hear them get so excited about it. It seemed like every teacher had a favorite show that they hated having to miss. This one teacher even said she did not get the students tests graded like she was going to because she was watching a television show. Sitting in the teachers lounge really gave me a new understanding of teachers. I learned that children at this age are very complex. They have a lot of stuff going on in their lives and often times do not want to be in school. This is important for the teacher to know, because they have to know how to work with the children and get them motivated and ready to learn when they come into the classroom. There were several
students in the classroom I was observing that really did not seem at all interested in what is going on, and it is part of the teacher’s job to help them get interesting in what is going on. This is probably why being a secondary teacher is so difficult. There are so many obstacles that the students and the teachers have to overcome to be successful. It was difficult to observe the students at this age and to make assumptions about them because they always have so much going on in their lives. For example, during the case study I do not actually know if she is insecure and has low self-esteem. It could just be that she was having a bad day and that she does not know anybody in class. The moods of teenagers change so quickly it is hard to understand them. I think that once the teacher gets to know the student it makes things easier, but until then it may be a difficult adventure. Overall I thought this was a great experience. I learned that teachers have their clicks just like the students they teach. I also learned that it is important to keep control of the classroom and make sure the students are doing what they need to do. I learned that it is important to encourage the students, especially if they are having a bad day. By helping the student succeed it can brighten their day and give them a place to come where they know they can do well, and where they know someone is cheering for them. Overall this was a great experience and I learned a lot.