I did my observation at Bullskin Township Elementary School on Mrs. Coles 2nd grade classroom. When I first entered the classroom, I felt very welcomed, she had all the students stand up and introduce themselves.
It was a very colorful classroom covered with the children’s art work. The children seemed to feel very comfortable around each other; they all appeared to be communicating well. The goals of the children in the class room are to actively participate and understand the information taught. As I observed part of her math class, they were learning money.
She gave them a worksheet to work on after she taught the lesson. As they were completing the worksheet she walked around to answer any questions and to make sure they were on task. I asked Mrs. Coles how she went about communicating with her students families and she said she uses phone calls, email, and parents will sometimes send a note if he/she has any concerns. She gave me advice to always call from work and to never call from home. She said last year she had a bad experience where she used her house phone to call a parent, and after that the parent was constantly calling her house.
Her curriculum was based on the Pennsylvania Standards. She showed me a PA Scott Foresman Reading Street Grade 2 Unit 3 book, which was made from the PA Standards it gives you a weekly plan, and different activities to do Monday-Friday. A few of the activities included target skills of the week, like phonics, comprehension skills, and comprehension strategies. She had one autistic boy, whom required one on one time, so she had an aide in her classroom helping him, so he wasn’t isolated from the rest of the second grade students.
I also asked her how she went about assessing her students, and she said she couldn’t assess them on the oral skills, but she did test them of comprehension, hand writing, and she used the company book test for each student. I thought the class room was set up nicely. The students’ desks were facing the chalkboard, Mrs. Coles desk was placed behind the students, their cubby’s’ were as soon as you walked into the classroom to the left, and they had a restroom and computer area toward the back of the room.
All of the materials were placed where the children could reach them, they had more than enough books and materials for each student, and the class room was well organized. The ultimate goal of the students is to be prepared for the 3rd grade, because in the 3rd grade they are now required to take the PSSA’s. So four times a week they have what’s called “intervention” where they divide the entire 2nd grade into groups high, middle, high-low, and low-low. From there the teachers help them get the children ready for the PSSA’s.
They are required to do a bullying lesson every other Friday; it’s a whole school district wide program. It was called “Olweus Bullying Prevention Program” Mrs. Coles put the class in a big circle on the floor and she sat on the floor also and read them a story. The class became a little wild, so she said if they calmed down they could each bring in a healthy snack on Wednesday. The autistic student caused some distractions, refused to listen to the story and covered his ears, the aide removed him from the room.