Classroom Observation INTRODUCTION
I attended a second grade class at Smallville Elementary on February 22, 2014; the class began promptly at 0855. There are 26 children in this second grade class. There are 15 male students and 11 female students. The student diversity is 2 Hispanics, 1 African-American, 1 East Indian, and 1 New Zealander (White but with an extreme accent). Three children were left-handed.
Two days a week in the morning, the children participate in a reading and writing block called “literacy and writing workshop.” The classroom is organized into five different levels with one group having one extra person; the levels are based on scoring of reading assessments. The groups are rotated so that each may spend 15 minutes cycles with either the teacher or Para-educator. The groups not with an instructor were to work on the “Daily-5” (explanation later) until their scheduled lesson. After the students finish their lesson, they are to fill the remainder of the workshop time working on “Daily-5.” This workshop is part of a regular routine. The students understand that after a reading a story with the teacher, they are verbally given a writing assignment. The assignment is usually to write a five sentence paragraph and color a picture related to the reading.
I observed Mrs. Rammond begin at 0915 with a group of five boys. It is a reading group that struggles with pronunciation and comprehension. The group individually takes turns reading a paragraph from a short story. The story is always 12 paragraphs long and has pictures that relate to the topic (it is designed for groups with six members). After each student reads his paragraph two questions are asked; one is to the reader of the paragraph and the second to another member of the group. During the questioning, Mrs. Rammond speaks to only one student at a time and the others are not allowed to interrupt, raise their hand or make any gestures that distract the person answering the question. The question is asked once. There is a 10 second pause and if the student does not respond or answers incorrectly, the question is re-phrased and asked a second time. Again there is a pause, if the student is unable to come up with the correct answer, Mrs. Rammond reads the paragraph and stops when she gets to the answer to the question. After the entire story is read, Mrs. Rammond verbally gives the writing prompt and dismisses the boys to their tables.
WRITING ASSIGNMENT AND PROMPT
Write a paragraph related to the reading topic that must contain at least 5 sentences. It can be about bees, honey, bee-keepers or the apiary. After finishing the writing assignment, a picture related to your writing assignment should be completed and attached.
The five boys in the first reading...