Personal Essay: Classroom ObservationJosh Van CoppenolleEDU 301Social Studies MethodsMary IandoliClassroom ObservationDate: 9-30-96Kindergarten teacher: Mrs.
DeboltFirst grade teacher: Mrs. CasteluzoLocation: Penn Yan ElementaryCarrie and I were going to observe a kindergarten classroom socialstudies class that combined their lesson with a first grade class. We werescheduled to arrive at 2 PM. When I arrived at 1:50 PM, Carrie was waitingoutside the school and informed me that she had already gone in and was toldthat there was going to be a fire drill in just a few minutes. We waited forthe fire drill to finish and then went into the class.
The time was about 2:10at this point, so the teachers were running a little behind.When we entered the room it was empty, we had obviously beat thestudents back from the fire drill. This gave us time to look around. Thekindergarten room was brightly decorated with lots of posters and student’s artwork. The kids were working on colors because there was a strip on top of theblackboard that had the colors and things we might see in that color. Thestudent’s desks were arranged in two rows, pushed together and facing each other.There were about twelve seats in each group, so there were about 24 students inthe class.
Apparently, the class had just been returning from a trip to theschool library when the fire drill went off, so when they came in they werestill carrying their library books. The students were asked to take their seatsand they did so quietly. Everyone’s eyes were on Carrie and me. Mrs. Deboltasked us to introduce ourselves, which we did. She told the class that wewere learning to be teachers and that we wanted to sit in on their socialstudies class.
Each student sat at a little desk with their name laminated onthe top. The students had laminated cards with their names on them tied aroundtheir neck with a long piece of yarn. I think that these were their librarycards. Mrs. Debolt asked me to collect these, which I did. The students werepretty quiet while this was going on and followed directions well.
Mrs. Debolttold the class that we were going to have a joint lesson with Mrs. Castiluzo’s1st grade class. She asked everyone to come up to the front of the room and sitquietly on their bottoms, hands in their laps.
The two classrooms areconnected by a door and soon Mrs. Castiluzo, her aide, and the 1st graders camein. It was a tight squeeze but everyone got a little spot on the floor. Youcould tell the kids who like their personal space because they wereuncomfortable in the tight space and tried to wiggle and scoot. Mrs. Deboltintroduced Carrie and me and then started her lesson. She started with a storyabout a green bear who lived in the forest.
He would change the color of hishouse as the seasons changed. Before she read she assess for prior knowledge.After she finished the book she led the group by questioning them about housesand families and health. Then we talked about healthy bodies and how we makehealthy bodies by eating correctly. The teacher would ask a question and thencall on someone who raised their hand. When there was a fun task to do, theteacher would call on a student that was doing something right, like sitting upstraight.
I noticed that the same students were always raising their hands.The teacher should have tried to involve all of the students.After the discussion of green and healthy, Mrs. Castiluza read a poem,but the children had already been sitting for 15-20 minutes and were notinterested in the long poem at all.
Then, Mrs. Castiluza brought out a bag offresh vegetables that she grew in her garden. This got the kids interestedagain and we discussed how the greens of the vegetables were different. ThenCarrie and I got 2 helpers and cut up lettuce, peppers, and cucumbers to make asalad. We all ate salad and talked about the different textures and crunchinessof the vegetables. The lesson was evaluated as the students ate their salad,the teachers informally walked around the room and spoke with the children, butnot all of them. The kids finished, threw their paper plates away and returnedto their seats.
I stopped back at