Field Logs – Week One: Students and Learning Environment
Core Questions: Who are your learners? What does their learning environment look like?
My learners consist of approximately 24 Grade 2 students. While the students are similar in age, they come from diverse backgrounds, and two have trouble dealing with the classroom setting because of behavioural issues and extreme shyness. The teacher tries to include these students, while making sure not to put too much pressure on them in loud, rambunctious settings. In this class, there are more students with visible minority backgrounds than white students. The teacher addresses these differences to teach the students, such as during the nutrition lesson. She mentioned that some people do not eat meat or certain types of meat. She talked about what they eat to replace that type of protein, and them that some of their classmates are examples of such people. From this, it was easy to see that the students were eager to learn about the diversity in their classroom, but also that they respected the differences between classmates.
This field day made me notice an important theme in this class: they were all eager to learn. This classroom played heavily on engaging the students through stimulating images. There were colourful posters to promote reading and posters that the students had made for their nutrition class. Along one wall was a large bookshelf that had books at different reading levels. In the back was a large counter where students could gather for group work. From these surroundings, it is obvious to see that the teacher promotes group learning in a setting that will engage and encourage the students.
Critical Triad Questions – Week One: Students and Learning Environment
- Do you think more could be done to include the special needs students?
I feel that by allowing for individual, pairs, and small groups, Mrs. Gilroy-Beck has done an excellent job of including these students. Both students have opportunities to participate in class discussions and individual work. Each of these students seems to benefit most from working in pairs, as it has neither the distractions nor intimidations of a large group.
- Would you set your classroom up in a similar way?
If I were an elementary teacher, I would set up my classroom in a similar manner. As I will be teaching high school, some adjustments need to be made. I like the idea of a quiet space for reading, and would like to have an area at the back that is more comfortable and relaxed for this activity. Instead of hanging individual work, I would display group work, as these students are more contentious of their grades, as well as motivational posters.