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My field experience was observed in the second grade of the Webster Elementary School located in Webster, Wisconsin. To discuss the observed use of the writing instructions and technology, I should describe the features and details noted during my field experience.
My field experience was based on cooperating with the classroom teacher in the second grade of the Webster Elementary School located in Webster, Wisconsin. I chose this school to conduct my observations, and I focused on the second-grade students because of having the developed knowledge of the instructional programs and approaches used in elementary schools. To discuss the observed use of the writing instructions and technology, I should describe the features and details noted during my field experience.
I observed the classroom activities in the second grade of elementary school. The class consists of 18 students aged 8-9 years where 9 students are females, and 9 students are males. Two male students observed in the class are diagnosed to have such a disorder as Autism.
During my field experience, I focused on observing the lessons in writing and the teacher’s use of writing instructions. I was inclined to focus on the lesson to teach the writing of compositions with the help of word processors. The teacher’s instructions were divided into three parts. During the first stage, the students should complete the pre-writing activities while discussing the topic of the composition (My Native City) and composing the plan of the essay; during the second stage, the students are asked to use the word processor to type the essay as a Word document during 30 minutes; during the third stage, the students are expected to read their compositions to the classmates (Piazza, 2003, p. 18).
The teacher assessed students according to the developed rubric which included such criteria as the presence of complete sentences, the number of sentences, the clear order of presented events, the use of punctuation, the use of capital letters. The students could receive 5 points maximum in relation to each criterion. Twelve students performed at the good and excellent levels. The teacher used the traditional instructional program followed in Wisconsin.
To help students with writing, the teacher focused on using the word processor. She informed me that they previously had used special writing templates and conducted lessons to train typing with keyboards. Two students with Autism were provided with alternative keyboards with the special software to limit hotspots and the effect of the reflected light (Longo, 2003, p. 87; Microsoft Commitment to Accessibility, 2014). I have observed that the students with Autism used word processors more actively, and their concentration of attention increased (How Assistive Technology Enables Dreams, 2005; Types of Assistive Technology Products, 2014). The teacher instructed them to type all the ideas about the topic and then compose the complete text. Thus, these students completed all the stages with the help of the word processor. The teacher states that she tries to follow the idea of “universal accessibility” while providing instructions (Castellani, 2000, p. 4).
During the past two weeks, I have learned that to respond to the principle of “universal accessibility”, it is reasonable to use the technology in all types of instructions in order to provide all the students in the classroom, including students with disabilities, with the opportunity to complete the learning goals. The instructions in writing should be oriented to developing the students’ potential in composing the texts and organizing their thoughts in writing. In this situation, the focus on typing the ideas with the help of the word processor helps students concentrate on their thought and grammar and spelling rules.
Castellani, J. D. (2000). Universal accessibility and the design of digital educational materials. Virginia Society for Technology in Education, 14(3), 4-7.
How Assistive Technology Enables Dreams. (2005). Web.
Longo, B. (2003). The Poetics of Computers: Composing Relationships with Technology. Computers and Composition, 20(1), 87-118.
Microsoft Commitment to Accessibility. (2014). Web.
Piazza, C. (2003). Journeys: The teaching of writing in elementary classrooms. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.
Types of Assistive Technology Products. (2014). Web.