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Ed 325 Field Experience Focus Questions

1. Assessing student literacy (listening speaking reading and/or


writing) strengths and deficits
How has the teacher determined the literacy (listening, speaking,
reading and/or writing) needs of the students in her or his classroom
Reports on the unique characteristics and learning needs of diverse
learners (age, gender, culture, or ability) in the classroom? What
assessments have been given or could have been given and/or what
data have been examined or could have been examined?
Mrs. Bombich is very attentive to all of her students. She ensures that each
student is receiving the attention they deserve and is keeping up with all of
their necessary schoolwork. At this point in the students educational
journeys, they are strengthening their reading skills and further developing
their use language and literacy. The children are excited to read, discover,
and learn, and Mrs. Bombich takes advantage of this in the classroom. She
makes learning an exciting process where students are engaged and active in
their education. Students are invested and attentive to all classroom subjects
and are rarely distracted. Mrs. B reinforces literacy skills throughout all
subjects, not just ELA.
2. Describing student literacy strengths and deficits
Describe the literacy strengths and needs demonstrated by the
students you observed. How have their needs affected their academic
performance? Their attitudes toward reading and writing? Their
interactions with peers? Their motivations?
Strengths and deficits of literacy were very dependent on the student. The
class has two students with mild autism, who were in the need of the most
intervention. These students had aids to help them stay focused.
Academically the students did not perform poorly and both students were
very invested in their education and doing well. However, they get very easily
distracted and need to be reminded of appropriate classroom behavior and to
stay on task. The students were studying punctuation at the time in more
depth, which was clearly needed after listening to their reading skills. As
students read out loud, one of the most noticeable deficits was their flow of
reading. Students would simply read what was on the page, pausing at the
end of a line, having some difficulty with return sweep. It was evident
students knew how to read, but were not necessarily focusing and
comprehending what they were reading. Comprehension needed to be
reinforced by myself or Mrs. B rereading specific passaged emphatically to
get key points across. Some stronger readers were present in the class and
clearly excelled in the group play activity. At times they seemed frustrated,
however, with peers who did not perform up to par with them. This made
some of the group work difficult, however with gentle reminder the students
would be patient and allow everyone their appropriate chance in reading.
3. Incorporating the PA Common Core Standards in English
Language Arts

Were the PA Core Standards in English Language Arts being addressed


in the classroom you observed? If so, which ones? If none were used,
which ones could have been used in this classroom?
Many standards were addressed in Mrs. Bombichs classroom. Such
standards include..
CC.1.1.1.B: Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic
features of print.
CC.1.1.1.C: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and
sounds (phonemes).
CC.1.1.1.D: Know and apply grade level phonics and word analysis skills in
decoding words.
CC.1.1.1.E: Read with accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
CC.1.2.1.G: Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key
ideas.
CC.1.3.1.A: Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate
understanding of their central message or lesson.
CC.1.3.1.K: Read and comprehend literature on grade level, reading
independently and proficiently.
CC.1.4.1.F: Demonstrate a grade appropriate command of the conventions
of standard English grammar and spelling.
4. Employing literacy strategies
What literacy strategies has the teacher employed or could have
employed to assist students with reading and writing? What strategies
were YOU able to use in working with individual or small groups of
students? How successful were you in designing and teaching
your two literacy lessons? Given the opportunity to teach these
lessons again, what would you repeat and what would you change?
Mrs. Bombich gives the students a lot of free reading time. When students
are finished with a task, they typically begin to read quietly. Additionally, they
have about 30 minutes of DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time after lunch.
While this ample time is great for reading practice and enforcement, it at
times seemed to be a bit much. I would have liked to have seen further
strategies such as peer reading groups, choral reading, or more engaging
activities. Some group work was employed throughout the weeks News you
can Use reading lesson, but aside from that not much was present. In my
lessons, I employed choral reading strategies during the Broken Teleprompter
lesson. The other lesson was for practicing the currently administered
assessment and employed independent reading strategies. My lesson both
went well, despite my nerves and hesitations. I was particularly nervous, as
Mrs. Bombich was not present for the administration of my lessons. The one
aide present during my lesson informed me afterwards, however, that both of
my lessons went well and were well designed for the students. I was pleased
to here this. I would definitely do both lessons again with slight adjustments
made as detailed in the reflection portion on my lesson plan.
5. Using engaging resources

Describe the types of literature students were reading in this


classroom? What other types of resources were used in this classroom
to teach literacy? Were they engaging? What resources did you find in
the library that can foster a love of reading and writing?
Students were reading primarily lower level chapter books. Mrs. Bombich
read a higher-level chapter book to the class with a following discussion. In
free time, students read their own simpler chapter books or graphic-novel
type books. Most of the reading material was inspired by trends or pop
culture. Elementary students are still very loyal to popular book series. In
addition to texts in the classroom, a cursive and print alphabet strip is placed
above the board. On the cabinets, Mrs. B has created a world wall featuring
the classs high frequency vocabulary words. Additional posters are scattered
about the classroom featuring writing rules and literary element definitions.
As discussed in my observation, the school library was currently housing the
Scholastic Book fair, so students were engaged primarily in all of the books
and small toys they could purchase with their money. Typically the library is
open to hundreds of age appropriate books for k-4+.
6. Using technology to enhance literacy
Did the teacher or you utilize technology and/or other resources to
enhance literacy skills? Describe the type of technology and/or
resources used. If no tools of were being used to enhance literacy,
what types of resources could be beneficial for the students you
observed?
Mrs. Bombich has access to a smart project with interactive features. The
software was not used heavily in any of the lesson I watched, other than to
display some supplemental videos or resources. The students did have
computer lab time one day a week where they have about 40 minutes to
work on special educational software that practices online literacy skills
involving mathematics and ELA. Greater implementation of technology
definitely could have been used in the classroom, but by no means did the
students suffer with the lack of technology use.
7. Reflecting on this experience
How has this experience changed the way you will approach your own
teaching? How has it changed the way you view the students in your
classroom? What was the most valuable insight you gained through
this experience?
This observation, just like many others, have given me further insight into
classroom management and teaching practices that could come in handy.
Additionally it gave me great experience in administering lessons and
assessments and understanding how adaptable you have to be! I am always
surprised at how much I have to change or adapt at a moments notice.
Adaptability was definitely the most valuable piece I gathered as a result of
my lessons and my co-ops illness and consequential absence. Thankfully this
allowed me to view different educators and their styles in addition to
providing more of my own personal insight.