Classroom Observation Report

1779 words - 7 pages

Classroom Observation
Memphis Intermediate School is located in the city of Memphis, TN. It is comprised of grades 3-5 with a total enrollment of 464 students and a student/teacher ratio of 20. Memphis has been in operation for only seven years and is a public school. The ethnicity of the student body is largely White at 86%, followed by Hispanic 6%, Multi-racial 2%, Asian 2%, Native American 2%, and Black 1%, “not provided” and Pacific Islander are both less than 1%. There is prevalence of students who require free or reduced lunch, about 27%. Additionally, the students who require special education represent 14% of students. (information from www.greatschools.net)
The classroom observed was Mrs. Hammond’s third grade class at 11:00 AM on Monday, the 3rd of March 2008. The class is comprised of 25 students, predominantly males. Upon meeting with Mrs. Hammond she informed me that she runs her class as a town, meaning that she is the mayor of the town and the children each have jobs and earn a wage. This information was essential because she has a town charter as you enter her classroom informing all citizens and visitors of punishable infractions that carry a penalty of fines ranging from $10 on up. After our brief discussion and my introduction to the class Mrs. Hammond wrote the words, “Procedural Writing” on the white board. She asked the class, “What do you think that is?” Three children raised their hands, one girl and two boys. Mrs. Hammond then said, “Wow, I’d like to see about ten hands.” To my amazement the children responded and about 15 hands were raised in the air. Most of the interesting behavior I observed during my observation was during the question and answer portion of the assignment to introduce the material. The students seemed eager to please their teacher and gratify her even though no reward was involved. Before she called on any of the students she repeated the question into a more simplified one, “What is a procedure?” A child answers that a procedure is like having surgery and Mrs. Hammond decides to elaborate on the subject of surgery as a procedure. She asks the students to describe what happens when someone has surgery. One student says, “You get put to sleep first.” Mrs. Hammond asks, “Then what happens?” As the students answer and talk about experiences in surgery she writes key words on the board: First, Then, and Finally. Mrs. Hammond gives the students clues to key words that are commonly used in procedural writing, “I’m hearing the word ‘then’ a lot.” A child shares a story about putting together a bicycle he got for Christmas which prompts Mrs. Hammond to ask the class where they get information for putting toys together or playing a board game. The whole class responds with, “Directions and instructions.” Mrs. Hammond then asks the class to share a story of...

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