| Activity and Reflection Paper| Week Four| | Written By: Dave L. Howell MTE/506Instructor: Dr. Sharon Craig| 4/11/2010| | On Wednesday, April 7, 2010, I was blessed with the opportunity to sit in on a Mathematical class at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Riviera Beach, Florida. This was an opportunity to observe the function of a core class at the school that I teach and Substitute for. The teacher’s name was Mrs. Minor-Walker, which is one of our 7th grade teachers. When I walked into the classroom, I shook her hand and informed her of what I was intending on doing today.
She was more than glad to assist with my assignment. These students were seventh grade students. This was an intermediate class, in which most of these children have encountered some sorts of issues with comprehending Mathematics prior to this year. Due to the NCLB act, this class was available for the children to have the opportunity to improve the math skills and recover from their setbacks in other classes. Mrs. Minor-Walker gained their attention by letting them know that she is happy to see them this morning and hoping that they enjoy the lesson plan that she has ready for them.
At this very moment, I observed the body language of all the students and wrote down the actions that stood out to me the most. During the lesson plan lecture, I noticed some students who were passing notes to others, tapping their foot on the ground to indicate that they were bored, some who put their head down to influence sleeping etc. Then, there were the students who sat upright and looked interested in the lesson, ones who raised their hands to ask questions indicating that they want to understand the lesson plan. It was good to see that side of some kids.
Having them encouraged to improve and move forward to their appropriate class is essential to their development. Mrs. Minor-Walker was informing the kids that she would like for them to get involved in an activity that will give them an opportunity to compete with one another on the lesson that she recently discussed. I went around the room observing group by group to see who was interested in the activity and how they decided to make it exciting. The groups were broken up into four students. The teacher gave each group five problems to do and eight minutes to complete.
It was interesting watching the kids asking each other who wants to complete which questions. I did notice that in one group, there was a student who just seem to be very defiant and was out of dress code. The teacher tried to address the issue appropriately by politely asking student to be more interactive and get in dress code. The student refused to cooperate and then decided to put the hood of his jacket on his head and put his head down. The student then caused other students to get of task and pay attention to his disruptive behavior.
He verbally confronted the teacher and told her to “Leave him the hell alone and get out his face”. This definitely indicated that the student did not come to class prepared to work or cooperate with the teacher. The teacher than was forced to call in for assistance from the Behavioral Intervention Assistant to remove the student. These emotions that he shown were a result of the child not wanting to participate and feeling like he was being bothered for his decision. Watching the different responses and behavior from each student was interesting.
Many of the kids in this class are not confident in their abilities to excel at mathematics. The teacher was very encouraging and willing to work with any and all students to ensure them that they were receiving great care from the teacher with their education. After the student observed the teacher’s willingness to help, the students opened up to her and tried to comprehend the lesson plan. This is a result of Cognitive Development. When a child is growing up, they observe every bit of nurturing and care that an individual may show.
If the individual, such as a teacher, can show signs of putting the child’s best interest in the forefront, the student will learn to open up as they did as a child with their parents. Yet, when you have certain kids such as the one who needed to be removed from the class, he can post a poor perception of the proper behavior in the classroom. I noticed while the student was behaving inappropriately, he actually caused other kids to lose focus and one to put their head down as well. This is an example of Social Learning. Even though this is a social learning example, it is a negative one.
This student observed the behavior of another and decided he was going to do the same because he did not want to do the work as well. Mrs. Minor-Walker spoke with that child and his attitude shaped up immediately. That was important for the other student to witness as well. The teacher managed her class properly and inspired most of the kids to do well and have a great day. At this age, the children are on the verge of finding their identity and giving them the support they need to become better students can be the difference in having a good student from a poor student.