For my field observation, I was assigned to attend Laurel Lower School. Laurel Lower is an all girls, private school. The class I currently observe, is a second grade classroom led by the Teacher, Dora Schwartz. Miss Schwartz, who coincidentally is a John Carroll graduate, has been at Laurel for a couple of years now and loves teaching her second graders. Much of the learning that I have observed in their classroom is similar to what we discuss in our ED 100 class.
The class of second graders has 10 students so it is very manageable for Miss Schwartz and makes for a great learning environment. Something that we have discussed in class is how an organized and well put together classroom contributes to students’ learning. We have often discussed the pros and cons of sitting in rows and columns versus having sections or circles. In the classroom I have been observing, the students sit in sections throughout the room. There are four different sections with three students at two of them and two students at the other two sections. I have noticed that the students thrive in this setting. Each student can easily see the front of the room where Miss Schwartz teaches, and the set-up invites participation from the students. Participation can often be a challenge for students, but Miss Schwartz does a great job of creating a safe and welcoming environment in which students feel comfortable participating.
Since my visits occur from 12:30p.m.-2:30p.m., I get the pleasure to watch the students enjoy snack time. The students follow a daily schedule where snack time occurs at 1:15 in the afternoon. During this time students get a fifteen minute break to eat a snack and talk amongst their peers. I like how the Laurel School built this period into their curriculum because students, especially at a young age, can get tired and anxious from sitting and learning all day.
Overall, I have had a great experience so far with observing the classroom at Laurel. Many of the things I see and the methods of how ideas are being taught are very similar to what we discuss in class. I am looking forward to my last two visits at the school.