She starts her day with organizing her lessons that she will be using for the day, she incorporated reading spelling and language arts in to one continues lesson that flows smoothly with each other. The entire lesson revolves around a theme of a story. She uses the same story along with decoder books and library books the whole week that is put into a unit with individual lesson each day. I observed Mrs. Connor using to different method theories in her classroom. She used behaviorism and Constructivism theories.
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When she taught a reading are spelling lesson the children were very active learners and participated in the interactive lesson for example spelling bees for spelling, partner reading, and read aloud. The Mrs. Connor and her students discuss how the stories relate the real life experiences and discussion on what it would be like to be part of the story. This is what Jean Piaget’s constructivism student centered theory is all about in the students respond to this style of teaching.
However, in Language Arts she goes to a more teacher centered learning style. She teaches a lesson on say exclamation points she teaches from a chalkboard and then the students work individually in the language Arts workbook. Mrs. Conner believes Behaviorism teacher centered learning works best for language Arts. The reason she states is Louisiana is a High testing state and the children need to meet the stringent benchmarks in order to pass the ILEAP test, which is Louisiana High stakes test.
Mrs. Conner does not agree with this issue but she believes she needs to do everything in her power to have her student prepared for this assessment When Mrs. Conner concludes the week long unit she give the children a traditional spelling test and language performance test that has multiple choice and fill in the blank. The reading test is a four-page reading workbook test that the school board says she has to give.
The school board is very much involved in the language Arts and Reading curriculum concerning what, when and how she teaches the material for example, and the children are not allowed to bring home the actual reading book because the school board feels that they will not learn true comprehension buy reading the story repeatedly. Her teaching practices are effective I believe because she involves the students in the decision-making. She allows her students to write about any topic they want for the journal responses and she hold the student accountable for their own assignments.
The students feel involved and engaged in the classroom community by being interactive in the discussions and decisions made in the classroom. Mrs. Conner’s model the behaviors she expects her children to do for example during accelerated reading time she reads her book while students read theirs. She tells me she could use that time to make class notes and grade paper but the students reading scores have gone up 5 percent since she started modeling the behavior she wanted them to do. The students get 45 minutes of library time a week however in addition to this Mrs.
Connor has an extensive classroom library that the students can read at school and bring home to read. she states that it is important to have as big as library as you can because not every child get to the public library and 45 minutes in not enough time to foster a excitement for reading so she fills in the gap in her classroom. Her classroom is most defiantly print rich. Mrs. Conner is an effective language Arts and reading teach and has been for 15 years. Her students test scores are either average or above average.
In her career she has had very few under achievers on state testing. Even though she feel they should do away with the high stakes testing she still strive to give the students what the need to proceed to the next grade level with in a transition year for students in Louisianan. The fourth grade teachers tell me her students are always prepared for the change in the grade level.