Data Collection Chart
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| ||Students are energetic; sometimes find it difficult to listen to the teacher for long, so short activities are preferred by the educator (for instance, English lessons last for 10-15 minutes, but there are several such lessons a day). Pupils rarely participate in delinquent activities (only one angry argument which did not develop into fighting thanks to the teacher), although sometimes it is difficult to maintain total order in the classroom.|
| ||The teacher conducts various learning activities (e.g., reading words, plasticine modeling), engages students in games, prompts children interactions (e.g., playing in groups), maintains order in the classroom.|
| ||Students are mostly friendly with one another; talk; play in groups. Several arguments were observed due to egoistic behavior (e.g., no desire to share), although kids were able to resolve them, mostly with the teacher’s assistance. Only one angry argument occurred, which was resolved thanks to the teacher.|
| ||Children interacted with some new wall sheets/posters provided by the teacher; studied them during breaks, discussed the pictures with one another. |
Two children seemed to be loners to a greater extent than others, preferring to play alone; however, they also sometimes participated in group interactions, especially when deliberately approached by other kids or prompted by the teacher.
Children whose first language was not English had some trouble communicating with others, although there were such interactions; however, they mostly communicated with one another.
Summary of Observations
On the whole, the classroom dynamics seemed rather healthy and free of any serious problems in the given group, even though the classroom was rather diverse – that is, it included children of several races, kids whose first language was not English, and even one child who had a mild hearing impairment. Although the fact that several kids used Spanish as their first language did seem to cause a reduced number of interactions between these kids and other children, Spanish-speaking kids played with one another, and still engaged in play with other children sometimes, even though in general, the language barrier may be a serious problem rather often (de Melendez & Beck, 2013).
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It is noteworthy that all the kids seemed rather energetic, and often initialized interactions with one another; they played games, engaged in friendly arguments, and took part in the learning activities offered by the teacher. The educator also succeeded in engaging kids in learning, using the method of delivering short activities, but doing it several times, so that the children would not lose all their focus by the end of the activity. For example, the educator delivered several short lessons of English during the day, which allowed the learners to practice the necessary activities and not to become overly tired. Generally speaking, it should be possible to state that the classroom was very well-managed by the teacher (Gest, Madill, Zadzora, Miller, & Rodkin, 2014; Spodek & Saracho, 2013).
The Effect of Classroom Dynamics on Learning in the Classroom Environment
When it comes to discussing the influence of classroom dynamics on the learning that children gain while being part of the classroom, it is important to stress that in the given case, these dynamics which, as was previously noted, could be described as rather healthy, appeared to have a rather beneficial impact on the children’s learning. In particular, the teacher-student interaction during the lessons permitted kids to learn and practice their reading skills, whereas the short duration of the learning activities allowed for not accumulating a significant amount of fatigue, thus letting the learners quickly recover their energy and focus after a break. The mainly collaborative (rather than competitive or hostile) interactions of kids permitted the pupils to engage in play with different members of the group, which allows for concluding that their communicative skills were rather well-developed for their age, and were developing further thanks to such interactions. There was sometimes disorder in the classroom (such as noise), but this probably permitted the children to feel more natural in that environment.
It should be stressed, however, that the language barrier which existed between kids whose first language was English, and those whose first language was Spanish, did hinder the communication of these two groups; however, it was positive that the Spanish-speaking children intensively interacted with one another, and that they still engaged in communication with the children from the other group (Pinter, 2017). On the whole, diversity did not seem to have a profound negative effect on the quality or quantity of children’s communication.
It is also noteworthy that the teacher used visual aids to present some new materials for the kids, which can also be viewed as positive. Furthermore, the kids were interested in the materials and studied them additionally during breaks. Although it is recommended that there should not be too many materials in the classroom for young children (Fisher, Godwin, & Seltman, 2014), the wall posters provided by the teacher succeeded in capturing the students’ direct attention, most likely stimulating their learning process as a result.
De Melendez, W. R., & Beck, V. O. (2013). Teaching young children in multicultural classrooms: Issues, concepts, and strategies. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Fisher, A. V., Godwin, K. E., & Seltman, H. (2014). Visual environment, attention allocation, and learning in young children: When too much of a good thing may be bad. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1362-1370.
Gest, S. D., Madill, R. A., Zadzora, K. M., Miller, A. M., & Rodkin, P. C. (2014). Teacher management of elementary classroom social dynamics: Associations with changes in student adjustment. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 22(2), 107-118.
Pinter, A. (2017). Teaching young language learners (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Spodek, B., & Saracho, O. N. (Eds.). (2013). Handbook of research on the education of young children (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.