Special Needs Observation
An observation in a classroom has many benefits for the observer. For one of my observations I go to an elementary classroom and my second observation is a youth group at a church. Each classroom has their own setting and curriculum which makes each classroom very different from the other. My first observation was in an elementary classroom. The activity had five kids per group. These children all ranged from the ages of 7 to 8. Just before their art activity took place the children were read a book about Halloween in which a pumpkin played as the main character. The teacher never showed the children the pictures because in the next activity she wanted the children to create their own pumpkin in the way that they pictured him and heard him described. Once the children got into their groups the teacher and a child helper passed out all the materials the children would need. Glitter, glue, crayons, beads, string, and scissors were all passed out to each group. They all received a card board cut out of a pumpkin and were now told to decorate him the way that they comprehended it from the book. From the very beginning the children all seemed very excited. The children were talking with each other and shared ideas on how they thought the pumpkin should be decorated. All the children had plenty of supplies to take and grab as they needed. The glitter however turned out to be an issue. Plenty of glitter was poured onto the desks and the floor distracting some children from their tasks. All throughout the activity the children were completely engaged and if they weren’t laughing then they all seemed to have a smile on their faces. My group of five seemed to get everything that they wanted to be on their pumpkin and still had time to clean their areas. They even had time to show off their pumpkins to the other groups. All in all I would say the activity was very well planned. I would however change what kinds of materials were used during the activity. Using something less messy would avoid distraction from the all children.
As for my second observation I observed at a youth group at my church. The youth group had children between the ages of 8 and 9. Altogether the class had eleven children. When I arrived for my observation the teacher and children were all going over bible verses. Once everyone recited their favorite verse they all went into groups of four to make bookmarks of their favorite verse. The teacher passed out crayons, markers, and stamps for the children to decorate their bookmarks. My group of four was not very interested in the activity. The teacher had to keep telling the children to get back on task. Looking at the children’s face expressions you could see that they were not interested in what was going on. Everyone had plenty of time to finish and clean up their areas. Over all I would say that I would have changed a few things. I think the children should have had a more age appropriate activity; such as an activity that challenges them. To get the children more interested in the activity I would pick an activity that they both enjoyed and could be kept busy with. I found both observations to differ in many ways but they also had some similarities. My first observation I saw that the teacher was more on point with what the children would enjoy; whereas the youth group just seemed to give the children something to do. Also my first observation was much more age appropriate. The children were given materials that were stimulating and kept them involved in their projects. A similarity that both classrooms had is that they both grouped the children in small groups and they also each had activities beforehand that lead them into the art activity. In conclusion I found that my first observation was more planned out. They also had age appropriate activities and kept the children focused. The activity was based around what the children enjoy, therefore, keeping them excited with what they were learning. Observation one gave me an idea of how my teaching style would be and also gave me great ideas to one day bring to my own classroom.