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Friday, October 2nd
Today was my first day conducting observations in Ms. Bombich’s
second grade general education classroom. I was in the classroom for
the afternoon observing various elements such as the classroom setup,
instruction, assessment and more. Ms. B has the fortune of having a
small class size of only 16 students. This allows for great attention to
be paid to each student on an individual as well as group basis.
Throughout the afternoon I was able to observe various literacy
practices while getting situated in the classroom. After lunch, when my
observation began, the students were involved in DEAR, or “drop
everything and read”, time. Students use this time to read
independently from either one of the many classroom books or one of
their own. The students may read at their desks or in the reading
corner next to the classroom library that features a couch, pillows, and
rug to sit on. While the children are occasionally reminded that the
time is to be use independently and not to be talking, they are for the
most part attentive to and involved in their own reading. After DEAR
time, the students regroup at their desks where Ms. Bombich reads to
them the conclusion of Gooney Bird and the Room Mother from the
Gooney Bird Greene book series. Ms. B reads about one chapter from
the book each day to the students. During and after the reading, she
asks questions and inspires thoughts on the text. She does a good job
at trying to extend the students’ thoughts and challenge them to
elaborate on what they are thinking. She especially tries to have them
use correct literacy terms they have been discussing and make
connections to their lessons and high-frequency words displayed on
their word wall. Once Ms. B finishes the readings, she hands outs the
weekly language test. Every Friday a language test is administered
relating to the instruction provided that week. This week was focusing
primarily on reading comprehension, main idea and main characters.
While the test is mostly multiple-choice, she reads the questions and
answer options to the students, asking them to underline specific lines
from questions. The test takes just about twenty minutes where Ms. B
then moves onto the daily proofreading assignment. Students have a
proofreading booklet full of sentences featuring misspelt or
grammatically incorrect work. Ms. B writes today’s sentences on the
board and gives the students about 20 minutes to work out the six
sentences. The books are collected as she will grade and correct them.
Upon completion of this activity, the student break into their two
groups to work on their play from their Language Arts books. In the
upcoming week, the students will rehearse and present the
Neighborhood News skits from their textbooks. Throughout all of the
language arts lessons I am able to see Ms. B’s encouraging attitude as
she tries to challenge the students and elaborate on as much as
possible.

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Monday, October 5th
Today was my second day in Ms. Bombich’s second grade general
education class. Today I observed both the morning and afternoon
sessions of her class. As a result, I was able to see more subjects than
just English Language Arts. Upon entering the classroom today, the
students begin handwriting practice pages for their morning work.
They do this work while Ms. B goes through morning announcements
and the various classroom jobs are performed. The students then went
to their first “special” of the day, which was library. This week was the
schools Scholastic Book Fair. Typically, the students would have this
half hour in the library to return library books and make new selections
for personal reading. However, today the time was spent browsing and
purchasing books at the book fair. Ms. B’s students go to the library on
Tuesday and Thursday so they have two chances this week to visit the
book fair. When the students returned from the book fair they quickly
reviewed their morning work and finished a few morning routines. Then
they began theme testing. This week marks the end of a unit in
Language Arts, and as a result the students are taking theme tests.
These theme tests are made by Harcourt School Publishing and are
used to assess Reading and Language Arts skills including
comprehension, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, writing, and
oral fluency. These standardized tests are not the most appealing to
the students, but are an expected assessment. The test acts similarly
to a PSSA reading assessment. The students work on the first two
sections of this theme test for about a half an hour. The student work
independently on these sections, as they are to read passages and
respond to the multiple-choice questions. Two students with autism
work with their paraprofessionals outside of the classroom as they both
need the test to be read to them. When the student complete the
theme testing, they then go to lunch, proceeded by social studies. In
the afternoon when I returned, the students use their afternoon
Language Arts time to rehearse for their Neighborhood News plays.
The students once more practice reading these scripts in their two
groups. Reading practice is reinforced by the teacher reminding the
students to follow along with their finger to keep track of where they
and their classmates are. This practice only takes about fifteen
minutes, for the students discuss writing practice. Ms. Bombich utilizes
a lot of question and answer as she revolves around the first question,
“What is important in writing”. The students review elements such as
detail and punctuation. This is all in preparation for a descriptive
writing prompt about them. Ms. Bombich maintains high energy and
relies on different inflections of her voice and such in order to hit hard
certain concepts. For example she repeats the term “Capital Letters” in
a different voice that the students recognize and respond with. Ms. B

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makes an effort to make her learning process engaging, especially
when the lesson may not allow for high levels of engagement and
activity.
Tuesday, October 6th
I arrived today for only the afternoon because of a prior morning
engagement. When I arrived I was surprised to see a substitute, Mr.
Reed, instead of Ms. Bombich. This came as a surprise as I was not
given notice of a substitute. It turned out that Ms. Bombich had to be
taken to the emergency room Monday night and would most likely not
be returning until later this week or early next. When I arrived the
students were returning from lunch and reading quietly or together in
small groups in the back reading corner. Soon the students regrouped
to begin working on their high frequency words. Mr. Reed asked the
students questions about their high frequency words to informally
assess the students on their understanding of each word. The students
then used the knowledge of the high frequency words by filling them
into a story. The students filled the words into blanks in a story where
they were appropriate. This activity only took about twenty minutes.
Mr. Reed helped out when needed and remained pretty engaged with
the students as he went through the assignment. Next the class moved
onto working on handwriting. Following the standard drill, the students
worked on the assigned handwriting pages from their book. Today they
were working on upper and lowercase “M” and “H”. This took the
students up to their first special for the afternoon, gym. When the
students returned from gym they began to work on their math work
they started early in the day before lunch. The students were working
with arrays, skip counting, and number sentences. Mr. Reed called
students to the board to demonstrate some of these practices in a
performance assessment.
Today was not particularly engaging for the students, as there was a
substitute. The students still remained relatively attentive to Mr. Reed’s
instruction. It was evident, however, that they were not necessarily
“getting” much of what was instructed. The students did not easily
adapt to the new instructor, but were still very respectful to him. There
is supposed to be a different substitute in tomorrow, which is a little
worrisome. The students are prepared to have a substitute and to
continue with instruction, but are of course more curious about who
the substitute will be and when Ms. B is returning.
Wednesday, October 7th
Today began to a rocky start to say the least. Another substitute, Mr.
Hrabley, was in today for Ms. Bombich. Mr. Hrabley seemed like the
perfect educator for a delinquent high school classroom. He was rather
strict and had a very serious demeanor. His interaction with the

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students seemed relatively forced, and honestly a little uncomfortable.
It was evident that he was not comfortable or familiar working with
elementary students. As I later found out, he previously taught high
school mathematics. The morning was a bit of a mess as Mr. Hrabley
tried to go through the morning routines. The students tried to explain
the morning routines and jobs that needed to be performed, but Mr.
Hrabley was very adamant about doing things “his way”. While I
understand his want to be in charge of the classroom, the students
were simply trying to convey what needed to be done, and a lot was
becoming lost in translation. Mr. Hrabley dragged out the morning
routines for a good twenty minutes before the class reported to their
first special, music. I originally planned to review my lessons during
this time in preparation to administer them that afternoon, but with Ms.
B’s absence, I stayed with the students in music. It was particularly
enjoyable to see how other students interact with the students and
employ specific classroom management skills of their own. Returning
from music, the students continued doing their morning work as Mr.
Hrabley finished up the morning routines. Once morning activities were
finally finished being conducted, the students continued with the
weeks theme testing. The portions of this test were not read by the
teacher and were independent. Instructions were read by Mr. Hrabley,
but not the questions or answer choices. Theme testing took the
students until lunch. Once students returned form lunch I conducted
my first lesson. I first conducted the “broken teleprompter” lesson that
extended practice of their weekly high frequency words and
Neighborhood News skit. I broke the class into two groups to make the
activity more manageable since I did not have access to the projector
with Ms. B’s absence. While one group practiced their skit, the other
group did the lesson with me. Students employed the fill in the blank
thinking from yesterday’s activity to ready their Neighborhood News
script off a teleprompter app on my computer. Students had to fill in
the missing high frequency words as they went along. I extended the
script with some additional lines to include more high frequency words
the students were not practicing as much. After my lesson was
complete, the students went to the computer lab for their afternoon
special. In the compute lab the students use online education software
that is an extension of the school used textbooks. The education
software presents math and language practice in the form of games
and activities. Students are practicing math and language skills while
developing important elements of online literacy as well. Once we
returned to the classroom, I regrouped the students all together to
administer my second lesson. To further practice for the current theme
testing, we read the story of Whiskers the cat and answered a series of
comprehension questions. We “popcorn read” the story, which proved
difficult for some students. The students did not keep track of their
place very well, but did not struggle on many words and read the text

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pretty well. I reinforced key points that corresponded to some of the
questions as we read through the story. I then read the questions I
created and had students come up to the board to select the correct
answer from the choices by sticking a paw print cut out on the correct
answer. The students were very engaged in answering the questions
because everyone wanted a chance to come to the board. The lesson
went very well, and while it was not particularly “flashy”, it was
practical and important for theme test practice. At the conclusion of
my lesson, Mr. Hrabley took over to teach math, which he did through
the rest of the day. His comfort zone was made clear as he taught
math in great detail to the students until dismal time arrived.

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