If possible, respond to learners who interviewed teachers for a different age range than your own. In your response to at least two other learners, compare the results of their observations with yours. Do you see any significant differences in the observations? Do you see differences based on different age classes? Why do you think that is or is not true?
Interview 1 and 2 grade
I had the opportunity to observe the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms. There are students who are being serviced by Ms. G with varying learning disabilities. This would include some physical, learning, and cognitive disabilities. When it comes to ecological approaches with Ms. G., she looks at all the areas in which she helps with making decisions for the students from day to day. Ms. G. tries to make sure that there is a home-school connection taking place in her classroom. It is important to make sure I share that Ms. G. wants to be able to support her students in everyway possible. Hand-on approaches are always apart of the lessons in her classroom for teaching and learning.
There are so many centers or areas of attraction for the students to have modifications with learning different skills. This would help the students with recalling facts, letters, shapes, numbers and colors. Ms. G. does spend extra time with those students who are not getting or grasping the lesson in the classroom to support them with gathering those necessary skills to succeed. Ms. G. makes sure that all the students are respectful of others which includes diversity and cultural backgrounds. I watched during her lesson to practice with the students in sign language and various foreign words for hello. I even learned how to say okay in Hindu while in this classroom setting.
Ms. G. is the type of teacher who never has to raise her voice in her classroom. She provides direct instruction to those students but has various items to use in the classroom to get the children’s attention. I especially like how she uses her call and response for the children to grab their attention. I also witnessed her giving the students various facial expressions to follow directions. When children are participating in teacher-guided activities, experts recommend the use of small groups and, when possible, one-on-one interaction with children in order to maximize a teacher’s ability to be responsive to children and provide individualized attention to children (Wasik, 2008). It is safe to say in my opinion that she provides the greatest milieu for teaching and learning to take place with the resources she has in her classroom for her students. Respect is something that is a top priority in Ms. G.’s classroom. When it comes to the Minnesota Code of Ethics, she is truly applying those standards. Ms. G. is truly committed to excellence for all in her classroom with her students. She expects respect and expect her children in her classroom to respect each other. What ways would you support a first year teacher with getting respect from her students?
Interview high school
The beginning of Ms. S’ day begins 30 minutes before the rest of the staff at her school. Since the Special Education program at her school begins drop off at 7:30, she must begin her prep by 7:00am to ensure she is ready for the day and her students. During this time, Ms. S is setting up different learning centers for the day and cleaning the room a bit. For today, Ms. S set out different styles of headphones, and various copies of the book Cat in the Hat.
7:30am arrives and so do a few of Ms. S’ students. Her students are between the ages of 14 and 19, so most of them come by a district bus or by their parent. Those that arrive with their parent stop for a bit longer to speak with Ms. S. During the arrival time students are allowed to explore the room, picking up different materials, and attempting different tasks. Ms. S does have two assistants in her room, so these assistants were roaming around the room and helping students with their tasks.
After the start bell rings, students are led through the pledge and through attendance. While all of this is going on, students are taking various positions around the room that they feel comfortable. A few students sat together at a table, two students choose the spinning chairs, while another student choose to lay on his back on the floor. After the morning routine, Ms. S leads her students through various academic tasks.
Today’s tasks were focused around the story Cat in the Hat. During the read aloud time, Ms. S distributed the different reading materials. Students had the option to choose between listening to Ms. S’ read the book aloud herself and follow along in the book, or the listen along on the headphones. In this particular classroom, Ms. S has two students who are deaf. These students were given braille books to follow along in the story.
After academic time, Ms. S’ allows her students to interact with each other freely. She lays out a few assignments for the students to complete and allows them to choose where to being. Assistants and Ms. S roam the room assisting students with the assignment, tweaking it where needed for students needs.
Today’s assignment was for the student’s to color and trace the letters and shapes on the cover of Cat and the Hat. During this assignment, two students who have physical disabilities needed assistance tracing the lines. Ms. S provided these students with utensils that fit their hand, along with a guide to assist their motor movements.
Based on your readings and your personal experiences, what does the term developmentally appropriate instructional strategies mean to you? How does your understanding of this term correspond to the No Child Left Behind Act, school accountability, and state assessments? Where do our students with disabilities fit in this one-size-fits-all reasoning?