Name: Lynette Williams
Observation Date: 12-01-10
Observation Site: PS 12
430 Howard Avenue
Brooklyn NY 1233
As a community of learners, PS 12 is committed to promoting academic excellence for all our students by: - establishing a safe, orderly, and nurturing learning environment. We will develop character and social awareness that fosters a positive school culture ensuring that all students achieve academic excellence through high quality, differentiated and data driven instruction, thereby developing lifelong learners, adaptable to the challenges of our evolving technological world.
My visit to PS 12 was a rewarding learning experience. My travel by bus to the school was a long one so I had time to observe the neighborhood and its environment. It seemed like the neighborhood’s population was made up of a mixed group, I saw Hispanic, African-American, and Caribbean American from their language. Upon my arrival, at the site, I was greeted by one of the teachers on staff and was escorted to a staff room where the principal Ms Nyree Dixon was giving my fellow candidates and Dr Cody our Medgar Evers representative an overview of
the school. Through Ms Dixon’s speech I learned that PS 12 has 291 students enrolled and serves grades K-5. It is a general education school and caters for Special Education students with Autism and other learning Disabilities. PS 12 consists of a diverse culture of students as well as teachers. On the basis of State Test score the school has received a Grade School Rating of 3 out of 10. Ms Dixon went on to explain that the school was in a bad state with test score and behavior when she started, but with time, effort, and hard work to get it where it is today. After this brief overview we were dispatched to the various classrooms for our observation.
Three students including myself were placed in a Grade 2 classroom for the morning session. Ms Bookman’s classroom was welcoming. I saw evidence of student’s work displayed, and many teaching aids situated for easy access for students. When we entered Ms Bookman and her class was engaged in a writer’s workshop. The students were seated on a large rug, while Ms Bookman sat on a chair writing responses from students on an easel. I counted 15 students, 9 girls and 6 boys from diverse ethnicity.
After this, the students went right into another lesson which required them to do sequencing. I observed teacher and student o be actively involved while reading sentencing together. Ms Bookman got her students involved by asking for volunteers to identify if a sequence given was first, next, or last. Most students were able to identify the correct pattern; others had to be prompted to get the concept. Although it was a good lesson , the teacher did not
use any concrete materials to reinforce her topics. For example I think she could have used the students in a line to reinforce the concept of First, next, and last. I think most of the time students would grasp this concept because they always get on line to go out. I think she could have also used concrete materials from the classroom for the tactile learner in her group. During the lesson, I observed as student sitting by himself, I did not know the reason but the teacher did not acknowledge him. Ms Bookman did not show concern for this student, but kept on doing her lesson. This particular student never showed much interest or contributed to the lesson being taught.
The lesson followed was instruction on using proper format for dialogue writing. This lesson was to help the students to put in quotation marks in a sentence. During this lesson, the students were not fully engaged, and therefore had difficulty using the quotation marks. However, Ms Bookman explained what it was and how it can be used in sentences. She wrote a few on a flip chart for students to see and helped them to do examples. The students were then sent back to their tables and asked to take out their writing assignments from the previous day; this was entitled “How I spent my Thanksgiving”. Students reviewed their writing to see how quotation marks would best help to convey what they were trying to say. This lesson went well and I think with further reinforcement the students will do it with confidence. Ms Bookman also confided to us that this was the students’ first introduction to quotation marks.
During my observation, I saw Ms Bookman sat at her table and called on individual students to come for help with the material and left the others unattended. I would have put a weaker student with a stronger one to help and maybe explain the material. Ms Bookman could have also walked around at intervals to see how the students were engaged, helped if they didn’t fully understand the materials. My colleagues and I were allowed to walk around and offered our assistance. The feedback that I got was welcoming, and students asked us questions while a few were nervous to talk to us.
At the end of the period we went back to meet with Dr Codi and reported what we observed and our impressions. We candidly spoke about our likes and dislikes to him and some of the things we would change omit or just do differently. One of my concerns is that Ms Bookman did not have any assistance, and it was doing the students an injustice to allow her by herself with 15 students and no help. I further said that she handled the situation and controlled her environment as best as she could.