Memphis Intermediate School is located in the city of Memphis, TN. It is comprised of grades 3-5 with a total enrollment of 464 students and a student/teacher ratio of 20. Memphis has been in operation for only seven years and is a public school. The ethnicity of the student body is largely White at 86%, followed by Hispanic 6%, Multi-racial 2%, Asian 2%, Native American 2%, and Black 1%, “not provided” and Pacific Islander are both less than 1%. There is prevalence of students who require free or reduced lunch, about 27%. Additionally, the students who require special education represent 14% of students. (information from www.greatschools.net)
The classroom observed was Mrs. Hammond’s third grade class at 11:00 AM on Monday, the 3rd of March 2008. The class is comprised of 25 students, predominantly males. Upon meeting with Mrs. Hammond she informed me that she runs her class as a town, meaning that she is the mayor of the town and the children each have jobs and earn a wage. This information was essential because she has a town charter as you enter her classroom informing all citizens and visitors of punishable infractions that carry a penalty of fines ranging from $10 on up. After our brief discussion and my introduction to the class Mrs. Hammond wrote the words, “Procedural Writing” on the white board. She asked the class, “What do you think that is?” Three children raised their hands, one girl and two boys. Mrs. Hammond then said, “Wow, I’d like to see about ten hands.” To my amazement the children responded and about 15 hands were raised in the air. Mos...
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...ass brought to my attention the importance of real world examples, presented to the students with the bubble demonstration and the town scenario. Learning is more effective if it is taught verbally and visually so the students have more than one opportunity to concrete the ideas and lessons in their mind. When the students are required to write another piece of procedural writing they will think back to when they blew bubbles and remember how. More importantly though are the lessons experienced teachers can pass on to the newer ones by example. It is safe to say every teacher has lost patience with their class at one point in their career but overtime learned how return order in a more positive way and not lose patience. Mrs. Hammond made teaching her class look effortless and that smooth operation is what I aspire to accomplish early in my career.
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