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Ashley Schirmer EDUC 121 Child and Adolescent Development Instructor: Ann Powell April 29, 2011

Reflection Journal #2

Chapter 5 deals with physical development. During your school experience, watch for signs that the teacher is attending to the childrens physical needs. Find examples that demonstrate that the physical needs of children are being met. During my time with Mrs. Brandons Kindergarten class, I noticed she was very receptive to the physical needs of her students. They had fifteen minutes each day for recess. If the weather permitted them to go outside they would spend their time on the playground. During days they could not go outside, she made sure they had time to release energy inside the classroom or the school gymnasium. There were also centers during the day where she and her teachers aid would assist students in various tasks. The students would be on a fifteen minute rotation and they would be in their respective center during that time limit and then she would ring a bell and they would move on to the next center. The childrens physical needs were met during this time from the centers she had set up for them. Some of the centers were dramatic play involving puppets, the puzzle center, painting, writing workshop, and blocks. If they were not at one of the previous centers then they were either with Mrs. Brandon or her aid. Mrs. Brandon would be working with them on their reading and the aid would be helping them practice their letters and numbers or addition and subtraction on white boards. These activities during the day helped them stay physically active, continually improve gross motor skills, and continually improve fine motor skills.

Chapter 6 discusses the contributions of Piaget and Vygotsky to child development. Did you see examples of the influence of both Piaget and Vygotsky in the classroom interactions? Please explain.

I noticed while Ms. Brandon was reading a story aloud to her kindergarten students they displayed an example of Piagets schemes. While she was reading she would stop and ask questions that would initiate them to respond with a real world connection to the story. They were using their schema of events they could connect to the story with. One of the questions was, What might happen if Dan forgets to water his plants? Some of the responses were, The plant wont grow or He might get in trouble or His grandpa wont let him help again. Therefore, this shows Piagets theory that children organize what they learn from experience. During centers time in Ms. Brandons Kindergarten class, a girl was playing on a rug that looked like a neighborhood, having streets, houses, and stop signs. She was taking toy cars and driving them up and down the streets on the rugs, stopping them at stop signs, and parking them at houses. During this entire time she was engaged in self-talk. She would remind her imaginary people inside the cars to buckle up. This shows Vygotskys theory of how children direct themselves through activities, guiding their own thoughts and behaviors. Ms. Brandon used group learning activities during her reading groups. Before starting the book, she would have them predict the genre of the book based from the pictures it had. She would then read a page with them, and ask one of the students to tell her what just happened. If they got stuck on something, she would take the time to make sure they understood before going on.

Chapter 7 deals with cognitive process in cognitive development. Schedule some of your school experience hours in a special education room. Observe the learning environment and instructional approaches in the self-contained special education room. 1) Compare and contrast the instructional practices in the special education room with those in a general education room. Ms. Kreuzmans room had special accommodations for her Learning Disabled students. The Learning Disabled students needed time extensions, test modifications, computers/calculators for tests, visual aids, and organizers. The LD students were not in the room for the entire day, they had a general classroom they were part of for most of the day. The teacher or her aid would pull students out and teach them certain subjects one-on-one. Ms. Bells mildly and mentally handicapped special education room had several different instructional practices to meet the special needs of the students. Instructional practices were tailored to meet the disability of the student. For example, assistive computer technology, document conversion for braille or large print, assisted listening devices, and accessible classroom placement was needed to create an accommodated learning environment for the students. Both specialeducation rooms required that their students have an IEP. Ms. Wilsons third grade class moved together as a unit working on one subject at a time, whereas Ms.

Kreuzmans students were working on different activities at times. Ms. Bell and and her aid were able to have one-on-one time with the students. Ms. Wilson did not have one-on-one time, although, she had smaller groups when her aid was available. 2) Which situation do you think is best for students with special needs? A self contained special education room or an inclusion placement in a general education room and why? When it comes to learning disabled students, I think inclusion is best. LD students have intellectual abilities that fall within a normal ange; however, they need academic support in certain areas. They should be in the general education classrooms and pulled out for individual instruction. In my opinion, students who are mentally disabled or emotionally handicap should have a self-contained classroom to minimize distractions. Students who are mildly mentally handicapped need developmentally appropriate instruction. For mildly mentally handicapped students inclusion works best for only classes like art, gym, and music. That way they get some experience around others but when it comes to instruction time it is best they are in their own classroom so they receive direct instruction.

Chapter 8 focuses on intelligence. Review the theory of multiple intelligences discussed in the text. Look for examples of the intelligences among the children in the classroom. During my time in Ms. Brandons Kindergarten class, I saw several different intelligences that would coincide with Gardners Multiple Intelligences. There were some children who could reason logically in math, some who could read books at a level or two above their grade level, some who were very artistic and drew beautiful pictures, some who could run and skip better than others or had more control over their movements, and some who were great at sharing and understanding how others felt. Observe two children during your school experience. Explain which of the multiple intelligences the children have demonstrated and how the children displayed strengths in those areas. Isabelle, in Ms. Wilsons classroom showed a great Linguistic Intelligence. She allowed me to read some of her stories she wrote in her journal and her use of language was impressive for her grade level. I also read some work of hers displayed in the hallway that had a picture she had drawn displayed above which had a likeness of her teacher. This shows me she has Spatial Intelligence as well for being able to draw a visual likeness of an object notable for her age. Ashley, in Mrs. Brandons Kindergarten class was working on her Math Scroll where she had written all the way to 3,000. This shows me she has a Logical-Mathematical Intelligence for

being able to see the patterns in math to write that high. She was the only one in the class so far who had made it past 1,500. Chapter 9 explores language development. Look for concrete examples in your classroom of language development among students as defined in the text. 1) Cite a couple of examples of trends in language development that you observed in the students in your classroom. The dramatic increase in the number of words that children can use and understand is the most obvious aspect of semantic development (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010) (pg. 321) Ms. Brandon showed me a chart on her computer that displayed the progress of known words they could identify. Most commonly used words like the, and, or but were some of the beginning words they had to identify then the list got progressively harder. Misconceptions about word meanings sometimes reveal themselves in childrens speech and writing (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010) (pg. 324). I noticed a couple children in Ms. Wilsons third grade classroom were using their, theyre, and there the wrong way in their writing. 2) How does a solid knowledge of language development help you deepen your understanding of literacy development? A solid knowledge of language development can help a person deepen their understanding of literacy development by knowing what reading level or language developmental stage a child should be at. Knowing this can help a teacher understand how to evaluate a child and create a plan to make sure the child makes progress.

Chapter 10 examines development in the academic domains such as science, math, writing, spelling and reading. Select a specific content subject and observe the teaching and learning process for the time period in which it is being taught that day. Describe the type of strategies the teacher used to encourage learning of the subject. Ms. Wilson developed a reading strategy in the beginning of the year that would be used all year long. She chose acceptable books for each lesson and the children were able to choose which book they wanted to read out of her selections. This helped the children feel like they had a choice in the reading material. Her students approached the lesson more enthusiastically, which helped them stay interested in the

material. She integrated writing into this lesson where her students had journals and they would write to her once a week. This would create opportunities for practice in writing development. She would start the journal and ask them specific questions to which they had to reply. The class was separated into two groups to ease the load on the teacher and shorten the response time to the student.

Chapter 11 and 12 discusses emotional development and development of self and social understanding, respectively. The playground provides a rich environment for understanding the emotional development of children as well as how their awareness of self and social connections develops. 1) During recess or other playtime, observe how children relate to each other. What types of aggression do you see? Is the aggressive behavior more prevalent for boys than girls? What age group(s) seem(s) more prone to this type of behavior? During Ms. Wilsons third grade recess time the girls would play on the swings or slides chasing each other, however, it didnt seem aggressive. The boys that played basketball during recess did show slight aggression. The boys started to play rougher once the other team started winning. Slight pushes were observed, nothing too aggressive like fist fighting. The boys did start to get aggravated if they were the ones being bumped into and would show a dislike for that behavior. The girls conducted themselves nicely. They showed no signs of aggressiveness. Therefore, from this observation, aggression is more prevalent for boys than girls. Boys ages 8 and up seem more prone to this type of behavior.

2) Do you see prosocial behavior toward one another? If you do, explain it and whether or not the child expected something in exchange for it or if it was intrinsically motivated behavior. Prosocial behavior was extended to me from a kindergartener when I dropped my pencil on the floor. Perhaps it was intrinsically motivated or since I was new she was looking for my acceptance. I thanked her for the kind behavior, which might have been what she was expecting in front of all her classmates.

Chapter 13 examines the concepts of motivation and self-regulation. Look for specific behaviors that show development of intrinsic motivation. 1) The student demonstrates inquisitiveness: is eager to explore, asks thoughtful questions, and is not overly concerned with external rewards.

The night before there was a strong storm that came through the community and Ms. Brandon, the kindergarten teacher, decided to talk a little about it. Abigail asked how tornados are made. I thought this showed a sense of inquisitiveness because she showed a curiosity of events. Many of the other students raised their hands to describe what happened at their house during the storm. Abigail was the first to ask a related question which enabled a few other students to follow. 2) The student has a sense of competence: takes pleasure in mastering tasks, is willing to tackle challenging activities, is willing to take risks and make mistakes. After Ms. Wilsons students finished their morning work, she went over the problems with the class. I noticed many of the students didnt finish their problems and waited until they started checking them to answer. Courtney finished five minutes early and took out a book and started reading, without being asked. When it was time to start checking their work, she was eager to help correct the first math problem. Her teacher invited her to the projector and let her work it out. She could have had the wrong answer yet she was willing to go up in front of the class to show how she figured out the problem. 3) The student has effective learning strategies: focuses on making sense of subject matter, rather than on rote memorization of facts, is persistent in trying to solve problems. During a math lesson Alan wrote down the key words as the teacher went over them, and then wrote an example problem beside the definition. No one asked him to do this; he decided to use effective learning strategies on his own. Ms. Wilson says he is an exceptional student.

Chapter 15 discusses the importance of peers, media and society in the development of children and adolescents. While participating in your school placement, look for the following signs of how peer relations influence childrens social acceptance. Are there examples of popular children, rejected children, or controversial children in the classroom? Explain. In Ms. Wilsons third grade class the popular children stood out by how they were dressed and their overall appearance. They tended to pick each other for group assignments. The rejected children were quiet and didnt raise their hands and only answered when called upon. The controversial children in Ms. Wilsons class were the ones who created distractions by either falling out of their chair or trying to get attention

from negative behavior. Due to our society placing so much value on appearance instead of personality children are being affected as early as third grade. I was surprised that children this young had to deal with being unaccepted.

Final Reflection Take some time to think about your responses and reflections in this journal. Respond to the following questions. 1) In terms of the major concepts presented in this class, how do you think your school experience and reflections on it has helped you prepare for classroom responsibilities as a teacher? Being in a classroom has helped me see students at various ages and intelligences and how they are instructed. It was helpful to see how teachers interact with students who have behavior problems, learning disorders, and handicaps. Seeing students interact with each other and play in the school setting gave me an understanding of interpersonal behaviors. Watching students work through and complete an assignment or on the other hand not have the motivation to sit and work gave me an understanding of the diversity of students as learners. Seeing how teachers instill values into their students to show respect for authority figures, control impulses, follow instructions, work independently, cooperate, and strive for academic excellence was a great experience. Understanding how educators create a community in their classroom was valuable as an education student. I took many ideas from arranging a classroom to dealing with behavior issues from my experience. Then thinking through my observations and answering questions that related to my experience helped me instill those concepts in my mind. Briefly sum he impact that this school experience has had on your professional aspirations. You will not be penalized for constructive criticism. I love observing different classrooms and teachers. They all have valuable information to share that I can use in my career. Each one has a different teaching style and unique way they interact with students. Going in to classrooms is a great motivator and helps me want to reach my goals in my college career.