Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library, K-12
The purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to observe and analyze how some of the theories, concepts, and approaches we’ve been studying all semester are applied in an actual classroom setting. Further, your responses to what you see will help you continue to identify and explore the beliefs you hold and continue to develop your philosophy of education
. Before you begin this assignment, be sure to take a look at the grading rubric on the last page, so you know just what your grade will be based on.
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
First, choose one of the videos below to write your paper about:
If you’re interested in Early Childhood Education (Birth – Age 8), you should watch:
Teaching Reading K-2:
If you’re interested in Childhood Education (also called Elementary or Grades 1-6), you should watch:
Social Studies in Action:
Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library, K-12
WHAT YOU’LL SUBMIT:
● A 3-5 page typed, double-spaced paper that includes all of the sections described below. Please note: A section is not the same thing as a paragraph. Most sections of your paper will include more than one well-organized, focused paragraph. (See page 4 of this handout for more details about form and style.)
PART l. This is the descriptive part of your paper. Write a smooth, well-organized narrative, which includes your answers to questions a-c on the next page and any other observations you care to share. Please remember all that we discussed in class about what information to include in order to make a write-up of an observation vivid and interesting for the reader.
PART ll. This is the interpretive, analytic, part of your paper. You’ll apply some of the theories and concepts you’ve been learning about all semester.
Part l. Description
a. The Physical Environment – How does the classroom look?
Write at least one paragraph that describes the physical environment of the classroom. Include speciﬁc details about the classroom layout including all the diﬀerent areas of the classroom and storage of supplies and materials. What’s on the walls? How is the furniture arranged? What about bulletin board displays: what’s on them? How is it arranged? What type of student work is up on the walls? Are materials
store-bought/made by teachers/ made by students? Are there games/toys in the room?
b. The Curriculum – What are the children studying and learning?
Write at least two paragraphs that describe in detail what the students are studying, what they are learning and what the teachers and the students are saying and doing. (Do NOT include what is said in the voiceovers or when the teacher is just talking to the camera.)This section is the story of what is going on in the classroom. Remember: including verbatim dialogue and speciﬁc descriptions of tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures will make your description much more vivid and interesting. Include the time markers for some of what you’re describing. Be sure to describe what takes place in the order in which it occurred. This is NOT the place for judgement, evaluation or analysis. In this section, you’re just describing what you saw.
c. Classroom Tone – What is the “feel” of the classroom?
Write at least one paragraph that describes the tone in the classroom. Use the questions below to guide your description:
● Do the children seem comfortable and content?
● Are the children engaged?
● Are they able to use the classroom independently?
● Do they express themselves easily with the adults?
● Is there anything that gives you a clue about parental involvement?
Part ll. Analysis and Reﬂection – What did you learn?
In order to write Part ll, you’ll need to look back continuously at Part l, at the video and at the notes you took while you were observing. The conclusions you draw in Part ll must be based on what you actually saw and described in Part l. Part ll is NOT the place to introduce new observations you made of the classroom in the video, it IS the place to oﬀer your analysis of what you saw.
Part ll must be at least four paragraphs long – with at least one paragraph each for #s 1-4.
Analyze what you saw:
1. Look back through through the readings you’ve done this semester. Compare what you saw to at least one of the philosophers, historical ﬁgures, or authors of articles we’ve studied. How does what you saw compare to that thinker’s philosophy and beliefs? What would the thinker’s reaction to this classroom be? Say why you think what you think. (This part should be at least one paragraph long.)
2. Refer back to the resources posted on Blackboard for our sequence on culturally responsive teaching (Learning Module folders 4,5, and 6), the Kentucky Department of
Education website: https://education.ky.gov/educational/diﬀ/pages/culturallyresponsiveinstruction.aspx
and the reading: “What are Key Features of Culturally Responsive Teaching?” Does this classroom seem to be an example of culturally responsive teaching? Why or why not? Be speciﬁc. (This part should be at least one paragraph long.)
3. Refer back to the article we read at the beginning of the semester: “Want to Get Your Kids into College? Let Them Play?” Would you say this is primarily a “skills-based” or a “play-based” classroom? Be sure you’re clear about what each of these means. Say why you think what you think. (This part should be at least one paragraph long.)
Reﬂect on what you saw:
4. What is your overall reaction to this classroom? What would you do the same or diﬀerently from this teacher and why? Would you want your own child to be a student in this classroom? Why or why not? Overall, how did this assignment impact your ideas about teaching and learning? (This part should be at least one paragraph long.)
● All papers must be 3-5 pages long, typed in 12-point font, plain, not bold text, double-spaced and proofread carefully.
● Heading: On the upper left of the ﬁrst page please write, Your name, EDC 200, section #, and date.
● It is highly recommended that you use bolded section headings to let the reader know what the focus of each section is. Please note: A section is not the same thing as a paragraph. Most sections of your paper will include include more than one
well-organized, focused paragraph.
● Please follow the rules for Standard English spelling, grammar, and punctuation – papers containing too many errors will be returned for rewriting.
● For help related to form and style, try: grammarly.com
Kingsborough Community College City University of New York
EDC 200 Instructor: Laura Kates Grading Rubric for Observation of a Classroom Paper
CATEGORY A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D or F
Description Description is well organized and ﬂows smoothly and logically.
In clear language, includes numerous details that address the questions asked in Part l a-c of the assignment guidelines.
Gives the reader a vivid picture of life in this classroom. Description is well organized and ﬂows smoothly and logically.
In clear language, includes many details that address the questions asked in Part l a-c of the assignment guidelines, but some questions are overlooked.
Gives the readers a somewhat vivid picture of life in this classroom, but some aspects are fuzzy. Description is a bit vague and hard to follow. Order is confusing.
Includes few details that address the questions asked in Part l a-c of the assignment guidelines
Hard to picture life in this classroom from this description. Description is very diﬃcult to follow.
Little or no detail included.
Very diﬃcult or impossible to get a picture of life in this classroom. from this description
Analysis Analysis is rooted in evidence from the observation.
At least one thinker is discussed in depth and detail. Ideas referenced are well selected and discussion is well developed.
Analysis is thorough and thoughtful. It reﬂects a solid understanding of the terms and concepts discussed. Most of the time, analysis is rooted in evidence from the observation.
At least one thinker is discussed in some depth and detail. Ideas referenced are well selected and discussion is somewhat well developed but might have been more fully developed.
Analysis is somewhat thoughtful but may be underdeveloped. It reﬂects some understanding of the terms and concepts discussed, but there may be some misunderstandings too. Often not clear what evidence from the observation analysis is rooted in.
At least one thinker is discussed but just superﬁcially. Not a clear connection between the ideas referenced and the points the author of the paper is trying to make.
Analysis is underdeveloped overall. It reﬂects only minimal understanding of the terms and concepts discussed. Analysis is not rooted in evidence from the observation.
At least one thinker is either not discussed at all or just touched on very superﬁcially. No clear connection between the ideas referenced and the points the author of the paper is trying to make.
Paper does not reﬂect an understanding of the terms and concepts required to discuss.
Reﬂection Reﬂection is focused on the author’s response to the observation.
There is evidence of deep thinking.
Ideas are well developed and clearly expressed. Reﬂection is focused on the author’s response to the observation.
Some thoughtful discussion but some is superﬁcial or simplistic.
Ideas are somewhat developed. They may be clearly expressed or just adequately expressed. Reﬂection is focused on the author’s response to the observation but sometimes veers oﬀ into unrelated topics.
Thinking is superﬁcial.
Ideas may be adequately expressed, but not well developed. Author writes about topics other than those described in the assignment guidelines.
Thinking is superﬁcial.
Ideas are underdeveloped. May be diﬃcult to understand.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation The paper was thoroughly reviewed and proofread. The paper has less than 5 errors. The paper has more than 5 errors. The paper needs extensive editing.
Organization, Formatting Ideas are well organized and paper is well formatted. One or two ideas may seem out of place. Ideas are hard to follow. Ideas seem to be randomly arranged.
Paper is organized into focused paragraphs of no more than 12 sentences. There are some focused paragraphs of no more than 12 sentences, but not always. There are some focused paragraphs, but not many. There are few or no focused paragraphs.
Formatting needs work. Formatting needs extensive work.
Paper includes bolded section
headings throughout. Paper includes some bolded
Paper is double-spaced and typed in a 12-point font. The paper is adequately formatted.
Additional Comments: Grade Overall:
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