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A Typical Student
The first classroom included students with different cultural backgrounds, such as African-Americans, Chinese-Americans, and Whites. There were children of the same age, yet diverse family situations. Several boys and girls were orphaned, and some of them had only one parent. All students have a similar socioeconomic background as they were from middle-income families. The above information may be used to develop specific learning strategies aimed at mutual respect and teamwork in the classroom.
The selected typical student (African-American male) had several developmental milestones, each of which was largely affected by his community and learning objectives stated by the school. Namely, physical and cognitive developmental areas seemed to be lower than is expected at this age. The student expressed little attention to the teacher’s explanations and preferred to play with his smartphone while the task was assigned to a class.
To meet the needs of the observed patient, it is important to focus on his engagement in-class activities. From the wide variety of options, the Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) framework may be selected. Since it implies an individual approach to the observed student and focusing on cultural importance, the application of this theory is likely to improve his involvement in learning and improved grades (National Research Council, 2015). In this classroom, the teacher uses such incentives and Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) as a behavior purpose statement and team-based decision-making.
The teacher encourages students to interact with each other during the lesson by dividing the class into small groups and assigning group homework. One may suggest that greater student behavior may be achieved by means of positively stated expected outcomes, wider opportunities for common discussions, and the development of emotional competencies of self-concept and self-control.
According to the standards elaborated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC), there are ten standards for early childhood development learning goals and programs (“The 10 NAEYC program standards,” 2018). The instructions and assessments that were noted during this classroom evaluation allow stating that standards I, IV, and X were definitely followed. In particular, the teacher promoted proper relationships between children through friendly conversations and played integrated into learning; she carefully supervised children in terms of basic instructional methods; and showed good educational and leadership competencies (“The 10 NAEYC program standards,” 2018).
For example, there is an award system for the successful accomplishment of tasks, and students may go to the prize box and take something like crayons or a small notebook. Curriculum and learning plans presented after the lessons corresponded to the guidelines stated by Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) and National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).
Reviewing the presented typical student evaluation in the classroom, it is possible to assume that experiential learning with its focus on play and acquiring knowledge and skills through interactions with peers, objects, and situations would be beneficial. Since the given student needs to be engaged, experiential learning-based instructions should be interesting to him and the whole class as well. Therefore, interactive plays should be developed as an option to teach and assess student performance. For example, mini-quests and crosswords may be created so that students may access them online through their gadgets and computers.
An Atypical Student
The second classroom observation revealed that the selected atypical student (White female), as well as her classmates, requires more attention from the teacher. There were students from the same community with different cultural backgrounds (Asians and Americans) and learning abilities. In this classroom, there were both typical students and those with special needs. The observed patient had dyslexia associated with reading difficulties and learns in terms of the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Both girls and boys from families with low income were noted in the classroom. This data must be used while preparing lessons and unit plans that should target effective education for both typical and atypical students.
The selected student with a reading disability presents adequate cognitive, physical, and emotional developmental milestones. She is active and interested in learning from her classmates likewise. Her specific need is expressed in her shyness and communication difficulties with peers. When the task was to read the text and answer the questions, she needed specific aid from the teacher, yet she hesitated to ask for it. If typical students need moderate attention from the teacher, the observed child needs the text to be pronounced by the teacher. Accordingly, the use of IEP prescribes providing learning accommodation and adjustment for such children (Guo, Dynia, Pelatti, & Justice, 2014).
In this connection, two guardians were in the classroom to assist atypical students with their specific needs. They walked along with the class and stood by them to ask if they need some help.
The incentives of achieving academic success, student engagement, and a comfortable environment may be identified in this case. As for PBS, one may consider the development of targeted social skills and individualized instructional accommodations. The above issues are essential to ensure that the selected student has access to learning materials and addressed challenges related to reading. The improvement of PBS may be achieved by applying the collaborative work of the teacher and assistants in providing learning materials and guiding student education (Alasuutari, Markström, & Vallberg-Roth, 2014).
The instructions, assessments, and behavioral supports in the given classroom are aligned with IEP statements. While studying with typical students, the identified one receives additional support with tasks and interacts with others. The close interaction with the student’s parents also contributes to the program and promotes academic success. To build instructions that include technology, it seems advantageous to apply persistence and reflection by using a variety of assignments and learning activities. For example, presentations and short videos may be used to explain a particular topic and discuss it.
A Talented Student
This classroom involved only talented students with great potential in academic learning in various fields. The observed student (White male) was from a low-income family, while others were from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Children were from different cultures, such as Asians, Whites, African-Americans, and Canadian. It is essential to stress the fact that this classroom environment was characterized by more self-awareness and self-direction of students. Both boys and girls were present n the class. The awareness of the above information is useful to develop instructions and set goals.
For these gifted children, curiosity and the need for cognition, vigor, and independence may be noted since such children are often ahead of their peers in terms of intellectual development. Taking into account the specifics of talented students, the organization of the educational process should provide opportunities to increase their initiative and self-control (Gordon & Browne, 2014). The fact that they often seek to choose on their own what subjects and sections of the curriculum they would like to study expeditiously affects their developmental milestones. In this regard, it is necessary to develop instructions that allow gifted students to independently search for and find answers to questions of their interest, thus ensuring differentiation from the typical classroom environment. For example, acceleration strategy may be used to progress faster to higher cognitive levels in the field of the chosen subject (Gordon & Browne, 2014).
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It ensures the expansion of the studied area of knowledge by obtaining additional material for traditional courses. Another strategy is interdisciplinary training – the global nature of topics and problems for study would promote a high level of content coverage.
Among the incentives and PBS, one may note providing more control to students in decision-making and problem-solving issues. The use of mentoring programs as one of the most effective conditions for improving the education and training of gifted students in the US may be utilized to improve current PBS. The mentor acts as an advisor and consultant is a model of behavior for the student, who, if necessary, plays the role of a critic to facilitate the student’s achievement of the set goals.
The instructions, learning goals, and curriculum are adjusted in accordance with the recommendations of the Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) and the Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC). In particular, students have a variety of options to learn, and they are highly motivated to work in a team, being engaged in the process of obtaining and interpreting new information. The implementation of technology in a talented classroom environment seems to be important and feasible through the organization of workshops and seminars based on such equipment as presentation tools and iPads or any other tablets.
Alasuutari, M., Markström, A. M., & Vallberg-Roth, A. C. (2014). Assessment and documentation in early childhood education. New York, NY: Routledge.
Gordon, A. M., & Browne, K. W. (2014). Beginnings and beyond: Foundations in early childhood education (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Guo, Y., Dynia, J. M., Pelatti, C. Y., & Justice, L. M. (2014). Self-efficacy of early childhood special education teachers: Links to classroom quality and children’s learning for children with language impairment. Teaching and Teacher Education, 39(2), 12-21.
National Research Council. (2015). Transforming the workforce for children birth through age 8: A unifying foundation. New York, NY: National Academies Press.
The 10 NAEYC program standards. (2018). Web.