FCT Task 4:
Did you view the elementary or the secondary video?
I viewed the elementary video.
1: Observation and Description:
1a) Describe the overall observed teaching situation, including visual aids, classroom décor, seating arrangement, and any additional criteria necessary to present the learning environment.
The seating arrangement in this video is very appropriate as the teacher is seated on a stool while the pupils are seated on the floor around her. This ensures that all the students focus on the teacher and that she can see all of them. This class constitutes of approximately twelve students who are probably in the second grade. The students’ ages may vary from six to eight years old. The teacher uses cards of different shapes and colors to ensure that the students have a visual connection with the task ahead. Additionally, the class is arranged neatly, with the different materials needed for this task in the front of the class.
1b) Describe the observed teacher’s delivery of rules and procedures for productive student participation in class activities.
The teacher begins by defining the kind of task that the students will be involved in. One of the rules that the teacher has set is that the children only speak when asked a question. Additionally, they have to raise their hands up in order to answer the teacher’s questions. The teacher delivers the procedures in a systematic manner explaining what each color means for this task. Additionally, she gives consequences for actions against the rules and procedures of this task.
2: Analysis, Exploration, and Reasoning:
2a) Describe the purpose of the observed instruction as it relates to establishing rules for productive participation.
The teacher establishes the rules beforehand so that the students are attentive thus being able to grasp the concept being taught. Additionally, it ensures that student participation is orderly and meaningful to the learning process.
2b) Analyze the observed level of student engagement with instruction.
The level of student engagement seen in this classroom is high. This is evident from their participation in the learning process. Students seem to be engrossed in the learning process as they are always ready to answer the teacher’s questions. Additionally, whenever the teacher instructs them to do anything, they follow without question.
2c) Explain how you might establish ground rules for productive student participation.
In setting rules for student participation, it is important to consider the type of students one is teaching and their response to different issues. Rules must help students participate in class but in a productive manner. Rules should be focused on giving consequences to contradictory behavior while ensuring that students have freedom to speak their minds in class.
3: Connections to Other Effective Teaching Practices:
3a) Connect the level of observed student participation to the effectiveness of the teacher’s direct instruction regarding classroom rules and procedures.
The high level of student participation seen in this video can be linked to the rules set by the teacher beforehand. The students understand that there is a specified criterion, which they must follow in order to speak in class. Additionally, the teacher ensures that the students understand the task is a group task where everyone must participate. The consequences of contradictory behavior ensure that students follow the defined rules.
4a) Explain a possible connection between lesson plan preparation and the observed instruction.
An efficient lesson plan must address the overall class situation while giving a theoretical analysis of what will happen in class. The kind of instruction seen in this video demonstrates a pre-planned efficient lesson plan.
4b) Provide evidence of the observed teacher’s professionalism in the delivery (e.g., presentation, appropriate language, tone, interpersonal skills).
An effective lesson plan can only be successful when followed by adequate delivery of concepts in a practical class situation. The teacher uses simple language, which is easy for the students to understand. Additionally, she makes the task interesting by describing some colors as ‘favorite’. Additionally, the tone used is inviting and the students feel free to interact with the teacher. The teacher also uses cooperative learning to ensure that the learning process involves both, the teacher and the students. From the beginning of the lesson, the teacher directly involves the students by making them answer questions related to the task. This strategy ensures that students have the opportunity to succeed by participating in class.
4c) Connect the observed teacher’s professional behaviors to their impact on the learning environment.
By establishing adequate delivery methods, the teacher has created an environment that is adequate for learning. By using simple language, the students are able to grasp concepts faster and the teacher does not have to repeat the explanations. Additionally, this form of delivery ensures that the students enjoy the learning experience.
4d) Explain the thinking process you went through to make this explanation.
The first thing I did while giving this explanation is to understand the video. This involves watching and listening keenly in order to visually comprehend what is going on. Secondly, I observed how the teacher used different tactics to catch the attention of the students. Her professionalism stood out as the learning experience continued since the students were genuinely interested in what the teacher was talking about. In the past, I did not view student participation as an important part of the learning process. However, as seen from this video, it is important to ensure that students actively participate in class as this can be used as a measure of student engagement.
Essay: Positive Reinforcement
Reinforcement is a technique that has been used in many learning environments to either encourage or discourage behavior. Positive reinforcement is specially used to encourage positive behavior (Grant & Evans, 1994). In class, positive reinforcement is an important part of the learning process as it helps students yield appropriate academic behaviors and follow classroom rules. In a class learning environment, students are required to work as individuals and at other times work in groups. This calls for the development of positive reinforcement techniques to suit each learning situation.
Firstly, one of the positive reinforcement principles is that reinforcement must involve appreciation for positive behavior (Slavin, 2006). For the individual, this may involve social appreciation where the student who behaves appropriately is recognized by the whole class. For example, when the class claps for a student who volunteers to solve a math problem, it ensures that the student will want to do the same in subsequent classes. Additionally, other students will want to act in the same way so that they are recognized and appreciated by others.
Secondly, another technique that can be used to reinforce positive academic behavior and following of rules is rewarding. In most learning institutions, there are those learning activities, which are optional, but most students enjoy participating in them. In order to reinforce following of rules, a teacher can deprive students of these activities and allow students to participate if they behave appropriately. An individual student who participates in class consistently can be given extra time on the computer or in their activity if choice. Thirdly, positive reinforcement of individual behavior can be through tangible rewards. This involves giving students rewards like toys, edibles or even money for behaving appropriately and following rules. For example, the top three students in a certain subject can be given defined amounts of money as appreciation for their achievement. Fourthly, appropriate academic behavior can be recognized through intangible rewards. These include certificates, trophies, educational materials and letters of recognition sent to parents (Walker & Shea, 1980). For example, a student who has previously been suspended for inappropriate behavior may have a letter of recognition sent to their parent upon improvement. This motivates individual students to adopt appropriate academic behavior.
Group work is part of the learning experience and teachers are required to use this as a teaching technique. In order to positively reinforce appropriate group behavior, it is important to consider how the class is divided and what kinds of behaviors are displayed by the students (Kern, 2006). Firstly, like individual recognition, groups, which present exemplary behavior, must be recognized by all other groups. This can be done through being given extra time to explain to the class how they achieved success. For example, in-group projects, a teacher can positively reinforce academic excellence by having the best group’s project published in the school magazine. This will enhance positive academic input from all other groups.
Secondly, another positive reinforcement technique for groups is special treatment for groups who follow the set rules and procedures. This involves an in-depth analysis by the teacher to determine, which group followed instruction appropriately (Grant & Evans, 2006). For example, groups that displays team spirit can be given a chance to visit the soccer team to help them further understand the concept of teamwork. This will enhance positive behavior in other group projects for not only the best groups but also for others in the class. Thirdly, tangible reinforcement is also applicable here with groups that follow rules being given substantial awards for their behavior. The rewards given must be valuable to the students in order to motivate positive behavior in the future. Finally, the teacher can use a reward system, which gives groups with best behavior advantage over their peers. For example, appropriate behavior can be reinforced by giving extra academic points for a particular course.
Grant, L., & Evans, A. (1994). Principles of behavior analysis. New York, NY: HarperCollins College Publishers.
Kern, D. E. (2006). Praxis II: Principles of learning and teaching. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub.
Slavin, R. E. (2006). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
Walker, J. E., & Shea, T. M. (1980). Behavior modification: A practical approach for educators (2nd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.