Part 1: Field Notes
The Physical Setting.
1. I did my observation at Shelly Baird in Hanford California. Shelly Baird School provides education for pupils with special needs throughout Kings County. Classes are based at Shelly Baird School as well as on integrated district sites. Additional support services such as vision, speech and language, adapted physical education, health care, occupational and physical therapy, deaf and hard of hearing, psychological services, and consultation/coordination of programs are provided for those students who qualify. My aunt is a paraeducator in a moderate to sever class with Kindergarten ...view middle of the document...
The key areas in her room were:
Work With Teacher Areas: These are tables that are usually set near a whiteboard or some type of teaching area that the students use when receiving instruction. She had 3 Work With Teacher Tables in her room for the 3 adults teaching. She had told me the tables did move from this original set-up at the beginning of the year ( she had a lot of energy and I have a feeling she was always improving her class). She also had a smaller kidney shaped table on the other side of room that was mainly used for her primary students.
Work Alone Areas: These are tables or desks that students would use to complete their independent work. She started the year with tables that were separated by tape into 2 sections for the students. There were trays and crates that were used for the work that needed to be completed and then for the finished work. But, she ended up with too many student's for this setup. She said her students also really wanted their own personal space, so many of her older students moved to desks in the middle of the room. (She is totally all about her student, she was always making sure her student's felt comfortable in her class.).
She had beanbag chairs and pillows next to bookshelves.
A Safe Spot: This is an area that students can go to self-calm. She used a variety of objects to make the boundaries of this area. She also put many visuals that the students need.
Computer Area and A Rug Area:
The rug area is used for Calendar. She had runners at the beginning of the year. This was a physical barrier that slowed them down because it was a smaller area to walk through to get to the door. Students also were able to check-in and out at the desk and bookshelf.
Leisure Area: This is an area for teaching about leisure and for Social Skills time. Some kids with special needs do not know how to pick out and complete leisure activities. She would teach that in this area. She would also teach social skills, such as playing together and taking turns. Different toys were put out on the shelf for kids to play with.
Evidence of Motivational Strategies and Engagement
1. The teacher I observed used GoNoodle, it's a website that is devoted to brain breaks and movement in the classroom. When she first joined, she said she was uneasy about when it would be okay to use it and how her kids would respond. We all know that sometimes when you turn on music and have the kids move around, you may be making the craziness worse. That is not the case with GoNoodle. The student's love it and know when the session is over its time to go back to work. When you start an account you pick a mascot that will represent your class. As you choose exercises and complete minutes, you move on to new levels and your mascot gets bigger. The kids can't wait to see if they beat another level and they love watching McPufferson grow. It only takes 15 minutes to move on to a new level....