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Child Observation Essay

I observed the teacher and what instructional theory she used and the five students in her classroom. Her students consisted of three four girls and one boy from what was shown in the video. Instructional Theory used: The instructional theory that was used by the teacher was that of Vygotsky’s Cognitive Development Theory. Description of the lesson observed: The teacher started out with clear instructions informing the students that they would be doing about learning new words. She started out asking the students ‘Where is Squawker? ” she followed up her answer by guiding the answer.

Once the students were aware of the question, they answered by saying that Squawker was under the umbrella. The teacher cheered them on and gave positive feedback at that fact that the children answered correctly. She then reiterated the question and the answer and had the students repeat after her. She then asked one student in particular to go and get squawker, who would be her handheld helper for the lesson, from under the umbrella. Her name was Page. The teacher then told the children that they would be learning some new words that were in the word box. She again asked Page to be her word helper for that lesson.

She gave the students clear expectations of the lesson. She told them that she would say the word, which she did by spelling it out completely first then saying in in a clear, crisp tone. She asked Page to select the first word and hold it up for everyone to see. The children then repeated the spelling of the first word, lungs, and then they also said the word clearly. *I had to note, that Page did not spell out the word lungs with the other students. She kind of just mumbled the word. * She, the teacher, made sure to also say to the children to “Look” closely at the word card.

The next word Page pulled out of the word box was the word chest. The teacher again modeled how to pronounce each letter of the word and to say the word. She had the students model after her the same exact way. Again I noticed how Page did not pronounce the word like the other students. The teacher then proceeded to ask Page to place the word chest on her chest so that everyone could see the word. Page did as she was told, signifying she knew what the word was. The teacher also at that time emphasized the action “Do”. The teacher then had page pull out the picture of the lungs from the word box and place it on her chest.

The teacher then engage the students and ask them how do we use our lungs, and elicit responses to see if the children had any knowledge of the content they were engaging in. The children showed readiness and ability to move forward with the questioning. She asked what is in the lungs and one child answered air. The teacher made connections to the environment by asking the children what else is full of air, and one child responded by answering “a balloon”. The teacher applauded and gave each child praise when answering the questions.

The teacher also emphasized during this portion of the lesson “Say” as she wanted to know that the children knew what they were saying as well. She had Squawker, her hand helper, to ask follow up questions to see if the students comprehended the meanings or the usage of the word lungs, and chest all of which each of the five children responded with clear meaning of the text. The teaching technique the teacher used was in line with Lev Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development. Vygotsky’s theory actively involves children in his or her own learning process. His theory also implies that learning occurs before development.

It was clear that the children had a base knowledge of the content that the teacher taught them, she just deepened their understanding of the material and the vocabulary. Vygotsky’s theory also implies that development is driven by the children’s enjoyment from learning and interaction with their peers. This interaction with peers and adults play a critical role in their cognitive development. The teacher actively engaged the children. She assisted in their learning by modeling the content, and she also used role play by allowing a hand puppet to be a part of the class as a helper.


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