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Heather Calliham

ECED 329

TWS 1: Contextual Factors

Classroom Factors:

Physical features: The school itself is a really old building that is the original school built
many years ago. All of the classrooms still maintain the original structure and appeal.
My particular classroom is very cold and hard having large brick walls, but the teacher
livens and warms it up with her vibrant and visually stimulating decorations. The walls
are a basic white color but they are practically covered from top to bottom with
educationally relevant posters, pictures, artwork, and other decorations. The classroom is
slightly cluttered with larger shelving, bookcases, and materials but most of it gets its use.
There are only two small windows in the classroom that the students have no access to
and the view is of another part of a building.

Availability of technology: There is only one computer in the classroom and it belongs
to the teacher. The classroom does house a Promethean board with student access when
or if needed. If students need to use the computers, a computer lab is located right down
the hall and the class has scheduled days when they visit the lab.

Equipment: Equipment within the classroom includes a promethean board where the
majority of the teaching and learning is done, a small computer that the teacher uses for
attendance, web searches, and other educational purposes, and also the teachers laptop
that is connected to what is done on the promethean board. There are also several large
bookshelves in the class that hold many books related to lessons, centers, homework, and
more. Several cabinets are in the class as well and these cabinets house the materials and
resources used by the students and the teacher but arent needed at all times.

Heather Calliham
ECED 329

Learning environment: The learning environment for my classroom is very engaging and
filled with opportunities to learn and grow. The students are very responsive to the
teachers lessons and they maintain attention throughout the day. The environment is
educationally stimulating and provides the students with all the materials they need to
grow as learners. The teacher is very respectful to each student and in return, they are
respectful to her as the teacher. Positive reinforcements are made to keep the students
focused and the peer relationships are generally positive as well. There are multiple
resources located within the classroom that are used to meet the students needs. The
environment is very safe and nurturing and each person within the class strives to
maintain its positivity by being helpful, well-behaved, and engaged in their surroundings.

Resources: The classroom has a small library within it that houses developmentally
appropriate books for the students. The teacher has dictionaries, workbooks, worksheets,
posters, videos, and more materials within that nature that the students can use at any
time. There is a computer lab located right down the hallway for students access and
needs. The school library is fully stocked with every book you can imagine and they
range from chapter books, to rhyming stories, to picture books, and more, that is sure to
suit every childs needs. Also, there are certain teachers that take students out of the
classroom for more one on one help in certain content areas that the students struggle
with. Similar to every other school, there is a school nurse and school guidance
counselor that is always there to provide necessary services as well.

Parent involvement: Mrs. Latham uploads a weekly classroom newsletter to her website
on http://www.greenwood52.org/Page/275. These newsletters are for the parents to view
and see what their children are doing that week. Things included in the newsletter ranges

Heather Calliham
ECED 329

from weekly spelling and vocabulary words, content covered in math and reading, and
upcoming events happening in the classroom and at school. The parents stay up to date
with what their children are learning and whats happening at the school. Also, parents
are allowed to visit the classroom at any time and experience first-hand their child in
action. The school also possesses a program known as Ninety Six Parenting/Family
Literacy Program where its mission is to recognize that parental involvement is
necessary for a child to be successful in school. Research continues to show that a child's
home environment is the single most important factor in their school success. This
program offers Family Story time, Lap sit Story time, PAT Home Visits, Neighborhood
Story times, Family Workshops, GED Adult Referrals, and Parent/Child Interactive
Activities. The schedule for all of these can be found on the school website.

Classroom rules and routines:

o 1. Respect the learning environment: NO distractions.
o 2. Respect others: hands and feet to yourself.
o 3. Respect school and personal property.
o 4. Keep it safe: work and play carefully.
o 5. Have assignments WHEN NEEDED.
o 6. Follow all school-wide rules.

Grouping patterns: The teacher has the students grouped in three. There are three groups
of desks and whatever desk a student sits at, that is his or her group number for
everything. The teacher calls the students to do things by their group numbers and this
allows structure and organization within the class. For more specific grouping, the
teacher puts students together at their desks by their ability to pay attention. Students

Heather Calliham
ECED 329

who have more trouble maintaining attention sit closer to the board, while the students
who dont particularly have trouble sit further away. They are also paired by how well
they work with others. On the carpet, the students are grouped by their ability to pay
attention as well.

Scheduling: Before going to activities at 8:30, the class completes their morning work
along with a quick math problem. During this time, they choose their lunch choices and
answer a question of the day. Mrs. Lathams class then splits up into five groups and
they disperse amongst the other 2nd grade teachers classes for activities. Each child
knows their assigned class and they go along with that class to their scheduled activities.
They return from activities at 9:30 and start on reading lessons. At 12:00pm, the students
go to recess and then return for lunch. After lunch they work on math, engage in centers,
and more reading/writing. On Thursdays, the class goes to the library as a whole and
checks out library books. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, they go to PE. They dismiss at

Classroom arrangement: I have included a visual representation of the classroom

arrangement because it is easier to understand rather than a worded description. (see

Heather Calliham
ECED 329

Student Characteristics and Demographics:

Ninety Six Primary: Mrs. Lathams Second Grade Class
Fall 2014







Number of children



Seven Years Old


Eight Years Old





Special needs/IEP

*Students IEPs are usually determined through a series of assessments related to the content
area the student struggles in. At Ninety Six Primary, prior reports and portfolios from previous
grades helps aid in determining the IEPs.
Instructional Implications:
Based on the specific needs of the students, the environment, school resources, and community
factors, these characteristics will help determine how to plan and teach my lessons. I will try to
differentiate my instruction by using the provided technology in developmentally appropriate
ways that allows the students full access to grow as learners. Aside from technology, I will
incorporate group lessons, discussions, and peer learning activities that will help aid with
grouping patterns. The environment I teach in will remain positive and will always be a place
where the students feel safe and welcomed. The environment is the most crucial area that can
either permit or enable the learners and its my job as the educator to ensure their success.