observation to a co-teaching classroom
Students will spend a total of 3 hours observing a special education classroom. Use the guidelines in
this document to take notes, as you observe.
You may approach a public or private K – 12 school that has students with disabilities attending. At
least one teacher must possesses a New Jersey state Teacher of Disabilities teaching certification.
You may choose to observe a co-teaching class, a resource room, or a self-contained classroom.
You will need to have your placement approved by your professor by 9/22 to be sure it is
appropriate for this assignment.
Once you locate your field setting and secure consent to observe, you should complete the
Unsupervised Field Agreement to formalize your observation placement. You must fill out a log of
your 3 hours on the Site Attendance Record Form. The cooperating teacher and the program
director must sign this form. The Site Attendance Record will have to completed and submitted in
order to receive credit for Observation Report.
Important rules for you to remember:
? You are a guest in at the school site.
? Be professional in your attire, communication and actions.
? Do not walk in eating or drinking.
? Make sure you have all of your paperwork with you.
? Make sure to have each observation visit logged and signed by the cooperating teacher at the
program before you leave.
? Do not discuss your observations, ask questions or otherwise engage the teacher during
his/her teaching time or when he/she is required to be in the classroom with the children.
? Keep the names of the children in your fieldwork setting disguised in your written notes.
In an effort to connect the observation component to the classroom readings, class participants will
write a 3-4 page paper that explores how the strategies and techniques that shape teaching
exceptional children. The names of students and school staff need to be disguised for this paper.
The paper should include the following components:
1. A description of the type of classroom setting (co-teaching, resource room, self contained
class). It should provide information about the type of the classroom as well as the make-up
of students (age, gender, disability categories if known, types of behaviors, number of
students). Describe where it is in the building. For example, is the class within the main
area of classrooms in the school or is it separated from the mainstream? What staff are
involved in this classroom (teachers, related service providers, aides)? Reflect on what
Department of ECETE
message the appearance of the classroom suggests about school’s/teacher’s philosophy? Do
you feel it is successful in its mission to serve its students? Why or why not?
2. The Physical Environment Briefly describe the physical layout of the classroom (include a
sketch of the room) as well as any modifications that have been made to the physical
environment in this classroom based on students’ disabilities. Is there any special
equipment used here? What technology is used in this classroom? Reflect on how the
physical environment aids the students in being successful.
3. Daily Routines/Classroom Management-Briefly describe the schedule/routines on this
classroom. Is the schedule posted? Is it consistent for all students or does it vary by student?
What staff are involved in these routines? How does the routine/schedule aid in helping
kids be successful? Describe what behaviors you observe and how they are managed in this
classroom, including any special techniques and materials used. Reflect on the success of
the classroom routines and behavior management.
4. Teacher techniques-: From your observation, how did the teacher(s) interact with the
students? Briefly describe three ways the teachers interacted with the children in the
classroom that reflect best practices that you learned about in class. Consider any
instructional strategies used, modifications of curriculum, choice of materials and
monitoring of students. Refer to your textbook and describe how the teacher incorporated
those practices into his/her teaching.
5. You as an Education Professional: Briefly discuss your overall observation by describing
three inspiring and interesting things that you learned about being a special education
teacher. What did you feel were the challenges of being a special education teacher? What
do you think motivated this (or any) teacher to want to work with exceptional children?
What have you learned about yourself ?
Cull these components of your paper into a 3-4 page paper. The paper should be detailed and
reflective. An important part of this assignment is making connections to what has been learned in
class; it should specifically relate to the best practices discussed in the classroom, particularly from
the course textbook. Your paper must contain at least 2 references to the text, correctly cited using
the APA citation format. Please refer to the attached grading rubric to understand how your
completed paper will be graded. Remember to attach the completed Site Attendance Record with
your observation report.
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