September 22, 2014
Information about the class
I was placed in a head start program. The program has many sites, but the one I was assigned to is near the Bensonhurst area. There are two teachers in the classroom, Mrs. A and Mrs. G. Mrs. A is the main teacher and Mrs. G is her assistant. There are fourteen children in the classroom. All the children are three years old. I noticed one child stressed out about naptime. It was still time for breakfast and naptime wouldn’t be for another two and a half hours. She cried at the thought of naptime and wouldn’t stop crying. She would yell out for her mother and some of the other children were becoming fussy as well. The child-B- kept insisting that she would rather be home. B is much attached to Mrs. G because Mrs. G-unlike Mrs. A- speaks Spanish and B only knows Spanish. B kept telling Mrs. G throughout the day that she didn’t want to take a nap and wanted to go home. Mrs. G was very patient with the child and explained to her that she needed to be in school so that her mommy can work. The child continuously asked why and Mrs. G lost her patience. She remembered that the previous incident she had to call B’s father so she would calm down. She also remembered that the child’s father raised his voice and she calmed down. Mrs. G waited for B to cry out again and she raised her voice at the child. The child continued her outbursts sporadically but eventually calmed down.
At this time there are no children with special needs in the classroom.
Overall classroom environment
The classroom is very bright and colorful. There is certainly enough space for the children to be comfortable as well as the teachers. The temperature is cool but comfortable. The classroom is quiet unless the children are in choice time. At this time there is a different noise-good noise. The classroom is well organized. Everything was well in place. Entering the door, we can see the whole classroom. If we start to the left, there is the section of table toys. Next to the table toys is the music section. Next to the music section is the computer with age appropriate educational games. Next are the children’s cubbies for their jackets and extra clothing. In the corner are the nap cots. Moving forward is the block section with a meeting area rug in between it. Then there is the dramatic play area. Next to the dramatic play area is the art area. Then there is a library section and closet. The writing section is next alongside the math section. Next to the math section is the science section. After the science section, there is a board with attendance sheets and allergy warnings for the children.
The children’s tables and chairs were just the right size for them. There are four tables with six seats each. They are all placed in the middle of the room with enough space to walk around the tables and not bump chair to chair.
Toys, equipment, and materials
The table toys area contains many different puzzles. The puzzle pieces are big and have small handles for the childens tiny fingers. The puzzles are pictures of different settings or numbers or the alphabet. There are also many cubbies filled with hand toys that can be attatched to one another in different colors (bristle, bears, legos, stacking shapes, connecting shapes, waffle blocks, connectors, find and fit shapes, lacing, pegs, counting blocks).
The computer has different educational and age appropriate games. The section has a small child sized chair and a table that allows the children see the computer monitor at eye level.
In the music center, the instruments are: a zylophone, drums, small sized hammer objects, and a couple of tambourines.
In the block center there are about eight different kinds of shapes. Also, there are plastic toy trucks, plastic rocks in different shades of brown. There are also little people toys.
At the meeting area, there is a calendar, an attendance tree with the childrens pictures as leaves, the classroom schedule with pictures of children what is said on the paper, and a rug with the alphabet and a word corresonding to each letter, and the classroom rules.
At the dramatic play area there is a table with chairs, a refridgerator, a microwave, a stove, a sink, cabinets, a broom and mop, a mirror, puppets, a register, and dolls.
At the art area there is construction paper-both color and white, cookie cutters, popsicle sticks, glue, scissors, paint, smocks, sponges, paint brushes, the easle, and paper for the easle.
At the library area there is a small sofa-child sized, books, a listening area with audio books.
At the writing area there are pencils, papers, crayons, stencils, tape, glue, stamps, the small table and chair.
At the math area there is a shape chart, matching charts, and small shapes to match with.
At the science area there is a microscope, pinecones, rocks, and shells. There is a sand/water table also. It is currently a sand table.
All materials are at eye-level to the children. They have no problems in reaching for their own things.
A typical day
8:00 Arrival/Free Play
9:00 Circle Time
9:30 Free Choice
10:30 Outdoor Play/Gross Motor
11:00 Story Time
11:30 Music and Movement
12:30 Rest Time
1:30 Outdoor Play/Gross Motor
2:20 Group Activiy
2:50 Center Time
The schedule is the same everyday. When I am there, they follow schedule but are off by about five minutes. I am mostly connected to the class when they are in choice time. I like to sit and play with them as apposed to when they are in circle time I feel sort of out of the circle since they are learning something new or going over something they learned the previous day. The classroom is teacher-directed. The children still need to be told what to do. They are only three years old. These children-except one- have not been in a school enviroment before this year. The children are respected in the classroom. I have yet to see any of the teachers act direspectfully to the childrens wishes while reasonable.
I was introduced to the children on my first official visit to the classroom. They will be calling me Ms. Meli. I feel comfortable with this name because giving them the same way as their regular teachers will show them to respect me the same way. I’ve interacted with the children during breakfast time and choice time. I’ve helped them serve themselves their food and helped a couple of them with puzzles during choice time. I’ve also interacted with them during outdoor time by playing catch or handing them a tissue for a runny nose. I feel that during meeting time I can sing along to their songs and listen to the teacher’s lesson with them. Also during choice time I can assist with getting them settled in and play with them at their centers. The cooperating teacher was familiar with the visits of my professor and aware that I was only to work with a small group of children. She also went to kingsborough so she remembers the requirements and was neutral to the situation. Choice time, while the children are busy is the best time for the teacher and I to speak about any upcoming lessons or visits. I have not yet exchanged contact information with the teacher but as soon as I get the chance, I will. My ten minutes of music will have to be done during choice time because this gives the children to CHOOSE to come to sing a song with me. This classroom is different from my (1 placement in a couple of ways. First my 91 placement was in a day care setting, and the children were three to five years old-most of them ready to begin kindergarten in the fall. This semester I will attempt to overcome my fear of “professor observations” as I like to call them. I tend to get nervous and jittery.