Maria and I were going to observe a kindergarten classroom social studies class that combined their lesson with a first grade class. We were scheduled to arrive at 2 PM. When I arrived at 1:50 PM, Maria was waiting outside the school and informed me that she had already gone in and was told that there was going to be a fire drill in just a few minutes. We waited for the fire drill to finish and then went into the class. The time was about 2:10 at this point, so the teachers were running a little behind.
When we entered the room it was empty, we had obviously beat the students back from the fire drill. This gave us time to look around. The kindergarten room was brightly decorated with lots of posters and student's art work. The kids were working on colors because there was a strip on top of the blackboard that had the colors and things we might see in that color. The student'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 in the class. Apparently, the class had just been returning from a trip to the school library when the fire drill went off, so when they came in they were still carrying their library books. The students were asked to take their seats and they did so quietly. Everyone's eyes were on Maria and me. Mrs. Hambolt asked us to introduce ourselves, which we did. She told the class that we were learning to be teachers and that we wanted to sit in on their social studies class. Each student sat at a little desk with their name laminated on the top. The students had laminated cards with their names on them tied around their neck with a long piece of yarn. I think that these were their library cards. Mrs. Hambolt asked me to collect these, which I did. The students were pretty quiet while this was going on and followed directions well. Mrs. Hambolt told the class that we were going to have a joint lesson with Mrs. Mastilo's 1st grade class. She asked everyone to come up to the front of the room and sit quietly on their bottoms, hands in their laps. The two classrooms are connected by a door and soon Mrs. Mastilo, her aide, and the 1st graders came in. It was a tight squeeze but everyone got a little spot on the floor. You could tell the kids who like their personal space because they were uncomfortable in the tight space and tried to wiggle and scoot. Mrs. Hambolt introduced Maria and me and then started her lesson. She started with a story about a green bear who lived in the forest. He would change the color of his house as the seasons changed. Before she read she...