Classroom Observation: 5th grade - Last class of the day
1. The classroom I observed at St Mary's was set up like a traditional classroom. Each student had their own desk facing the front of the classroom and the desks were lined up in rows. The room was very colorful and had the students work posted all around the classroom showing the students accomplishments. There was also some important quotes and words spread throughout the room.
2. Both the gym and the classroom had very similar decoration ideas. The less bare wall showing the better for the students. The main difference being that the gym was focused more around students skills and sports, while the classroom was more learning based with the words posted around the room.
3. I thought the classroom atmosphere was very positive but at times could almost be a distraction to the students. The students had a lot of energy but a lot of that can be contributed to the fact this was their last period of the day and the students were ready to go home.
4. The last period of the day for the students is a study hall everyday. The teacher gives the students the option of working on homework or reading. The only rule is they can not be to loud or distracting to the other students. This is made more difficult because the students are in the last period of the day and have a lot of energy.
5. It was hard to gauge literacy levels during a study hall. I did have a chance to chat with the teacher quickly and she said that her students were very smart and always give effort. A lot of the students choose to read on their own, which shows me their willingness to learn and improve their language.
6. She started the class by asking how physical education class went and then asked if the students wanted to go over any of the material from earlier in the day. She was very positive with the students but still enforced discipline when necessary.
7. All the students had a very proactive social behavior, especially for 5th grade students. I have observed them in the physical education setting and already knew that there wasn't any students who were shy or anti social in the class. I expected it to be segregated with boys and girls but to my surprise they were mixed together almost evenly and didn't seem to be bothered at all.
8. After observing the students in the classroom setting I was able to see what groups of friends their were and how they acted in a normal classroom. It also helped point out a few students who were bad influences on each other. This would be helpful in a physical education setting because I would know to separate certain people to keep the class flowing and staying on task.
9. This observation just reiterated what I already knew. That 5th grade students just want to have fun. I would craft my lessons to keep things exciting and keep the students moving. I noticed the longer the students were sitting still listening to directions the more off task they got. Time management is they key to a good lesson at the elementary level.