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Classroom Observation and Teacher Interview

Classroom Observation and Teacher Interview


EDU 305
November 10, 2014
Tiffany Sahadeo

Classroom Observation and Teacher Interview

My classroom observation took place at Fort Washington Forest Elementary School in


Mrs. Russells kindergarten class for about two hours. There were only two adults present during
the interview, myself, and Mrs. Russell. The observation took place from behind the teachers
table so I wouldnt distract the students or the teacher. During my observation I quickly
concluded how well Mrs. Russell interacted with the students and how well she used the
developmental theory in the classroom.
Teacher Interview
Me: What is your professional background?
Mrs. Russell: I graduated from UMUC in 1996 with a B.S in Elementary Education and
specialized in Early Childhood. In 1996 I became a Kindergarten teacher at Fort Washington
Forest Elementary School. I have worked primarily by myself for my entire career.This year the
budget has allowed each kindergarten class to have an aide. This allows for more reading and
one on one with my students.
Me: Have you had any professional training? Was it effective?
Mrs. Russell: I had specific developmental training in my bachelors program. That training was
extremely effective. I recently completed RISC training. This training overall has helped our district
toward a fully implemented RISC school within two years. It has been extremely effective.
Me: Do you consult with peers or specialists about developmental issues?

Mrs. Russell: I am a member of our schools Student Spirit Team. Our team works with the teachers on a biweekly basis concerning developmental issues. I also communicate daily with any concerns that the teachers or
students may have.

Classroom Observation and Teacher Interview

Me: What are the developmental issues you deal with in your classroom?
a.Cognitive

Me: What are the academic abilities and challenges in your age group?
Mrs. Russell: In my class the students cognitive skills of my students range from high to low. Their learning
ability ranges from entering kindergarten ready to read, to never being read to. Kindergarteners have a different
range in cognitive skills.

b.Physical

Me: Do you feel that there is an academic difference with gender?


Mrs. Russell: I have seven girls and 11 boys enrolled in my class. All children are physically similar.

c.Emotional

Me: Do they seem overwhelmed or stressed? Do they solve their own problems?
Mrs. Russell: Children at this age, are sometimes very emotional. They oftentimes display mixed emotions in
different circumstances. For children this age this is normal and, I have to explain that to parents. Stress,
overtired, or grief maybe reflected by crying. Crying seems to be a good stress reliever for my children. I tell the
parents to allow them to cry, they will get a sense of their emotions and how to deal with them eventually.

d. Social

Classroom Observation and Teacher Interview

Me: How are their social skills, do they make friends easily?
Mrs. Russell: Majority of my students attended a preschool program. This provided the social
skills and readiness to learn with other children. A few of my students had never attended a
preschool or daycare prior to kindergarten, first they were lacking in social skills, and had
difficulty adjusting to the school environment. Some students at first were frightened by the
school bells and would seem very timid. As time passed those students easily blended in with the
others.
Me: What are the specific challenges of your age group?
Mrs. Russell: Specific challenge: At this age children are not independent learners they have a
difficult time sitting quietly for 10 minutes. They are easily distracted and their attention span is
limited. Amongst 18 of them there is a wide range of skills. Some of my children can follow
direction whereas others need my full attention.
Me: What is the most challenging developmental in your career? What are the details of the
issue?
Mrs. Russell: I would have to say that learning to read is the most significant developmental
issue I have worked with. I work very diligently with my students by encouraging reading
strategies and reading at home. I have many parents that are supportive and involved and I have
some that are not. I feel that child will learn to read when they are developmentally ready.
Me: How did you address the issue?
Mrs. Russell: I explain to parents that some children may not developmentally be ready and
provide literature that shows this. I give them reading strategies to use at

Classroom Observation and Teacher Interview

home such as, getting your mouth ready for the sounds, identifying pictures, and recognizing
words within other words.
Me: What was the outcome?
Mrs. Russell: Once I show parents these simple strategies, their children usually pick on sight
words quicker. Children eventually learn to read when they are developmentally ready.
Classroom Observation
Mrs. Russell used small white boards with her reading groups to help them with word
recognition, while re-telling the story. Mrs. Russell made up flash cards to take home. Students
that have difficulty developing basic reading skills go to the Title 1 reading program designed to
provide extra help in reading throughout the day. I noticed Mrs. Russell incorporating flash cards
quite often during lessons to emphasize high frequency words. The use of flash cards and the
ability of the students understanding what are on the flash cards falls under the cognitive theory.
The more a student sees the words or problem the more likely they will remember the word or
problem the next time they see it. I was able to see Mrs. Russell use flash cards with her students.
Some of the words came easy, such as their high frequency words and other words came harder
for them to identify. Mrs. Russell provided the students with laminated flash cards. These flash
cards are great for when you are on the go, in class, in small groups, individually, or at home. We
you find an attached three photos, two examples of the high frequency words and one example of
a sheet of flash cards.