Josh 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 social studies classthat combined their lesson with a first grade class. We were scheduled to arrive at 2 PM. When I arrived at 1:50 PM, Carrie was waiting outside the school and informed me thatshe had already gone in and was told that there was going to be a fire drill in just a fewminutes. We waited for the fire drill to finish and then went into the class. The time wasabout 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 backfrom the fire drill. This gave us time to look around. The kindergarten room wasbrightly decorated with lots of posters and students art work. The kids were working oncolors because there was a strip on top of the blackboard that had the colors and thingswe might see in that color. The students desks were arranged in two rows, pushedtogether and facing each other. There were about twelve seats in each group, so therewere about 24 students in the class.
Apparently, the class had just been returning from atrip to the school 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 seats and they didso quietly. Everyones eyes were on Carrie and me.
Mrs. Debolt asked us to introduceourselves, which we did.She told the class that we were learning to be teachers andthat we wanted to sit in on their social studies class.Each student sat at a little desk withtheir name laminated on the top.
The students had laminated cards with their names onthem tied around their neck with a long piece of yarn. I think that these were their library cards. Mrs.
Debolt asked me to collect these, which I did. The students were pretty quietwhile this was going on and followed directions well. Mrs.
Debolt told the class that wewere going to have a joint lesson with Mrs. Castiluzos 1st grade class. She askedeveryone to come up to the front of the room and sit quietly on their bottoms, hands intheir laps.
The two classrooms are connected by a door and soon Mrs. Castiluzo, heraide, and the 1st graders came in. It was a tight squeeze but everyone got a little spot onthe floor. You could tell the kids who like their personal space because they wereuncomfortable in the tight space and tried to wiggle and scoot.
Mrs. Debolt introducedCarrie and me and then started her lesson. She started with a story about a green bearwho lived in the forest. He would change the color of his house as the seasons changed.
Before she read she assess for prior knowledge. After she finished the book she led thegroup by questioning them about houses and families and health. Then we talked abouthealthy bodies and how we make healthy bodies by eating correctly. The teacher wouldask a question and then call on someone who raised their hand. When there was a funtask to do, the teacher would call on a student that was doing something right, like sittingup straight.
I noticed that the same students were always raising their hands. The teachershould have tried to involve all of the students. After the discussion of green and healthy, Mrs.
Castiluza read a poem, but thechildren had already been sitting for 15-20 minutes and were not interested in the longpoem at all. Then, Mrs. Castiluza brought out a bag of fresh vegetables that she grew inher garden. This got the kids interested again and we discussed how the greens of thevegetables were different.
Then Carrie and I got 2 helpers and cut up lettuce, peppers,and cucumbers to make a salad. We all ate salad and talked about the different texturesand crunchiness of the vegetables. The lesson was evaluated as the students ate theirsalad, 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 returned to theirseats. I stopped back at the library briefly on another day and found there to be quite abig selection of trade books on historical events and biographies. There was a bigselection on folk tales.
I found a section with plays that are made especially for classeswith lots of parts. There were a lot of multicultural books on display. I think that theylooked pretty new. There were computers available as well but I didnt go and look atthe soft wareI think that the lesson was interesting enough, although maybe a little too long. The teachers tried to use literature and poems to tell the lesson. I think that the teachershould have a way to involve all the students in the discussion.
Also, I think that all thestudents should have been involved in making the salad. I think the idea of the salad wasgood, hands on and a reward at the end. The students were very well behaved and theteacher handled misbehaving matter-of-factly without a lot of attention drawn to thedeed. I dont think that the material was particularly challenging, but then again we aredealing with kindergarten. The theme of the unit was myself and my family.
I think Isee the way they were going with the green bear in his home and a healthy diet to keepyou well. Did I mention that I want to teach 5th grade? Seriously though, I think theselittle ones are adorable but everytime I spend time in kindergarten, I realize that I will domuch better with older learners.Category: English