EDUC 216 Portfolio
Dr. Linda Rhone
November 1, 2012
I had the
my observations in USD 475 of Kansas.
has an approximate
of 8210 students. 47.74% of these students are female
as the remaining 52.28% are male.
The district also has supporting
data of 62.37% of their
being Economically Disadvantaged.
r diversity percentages consist
of 8.73% with
language barriers, or with a primary language other than English
. Also, a total of 15% of
s students are serviced for their special
and learning concerns
school at which I performed my observations had a total enrol
lment of 382 s
for the beginning of the 2012
school year. This
great diversity in both
The following statistics were derived
from Kansas Department of
ucation Report Card for the 2011
% African American
Kansas Department of Education Rep
ort Card Website
and Observation Hours
August 27, 2012
Time to Date: 0.0 hours
Time In: 11
Time Out: 3:30
he class observed consists of 23
students at which 13 are boys, and 10 are girls. Seven
of these students are ESS, or students nee
ing exceptional services for a
of those 23 students are ELL, or students with language barriers needing
Teacher A is a
licensed educator, with three
years in the
Math (O, I, S, W)
The class was divided into five cooperative
learning groups, at which each group had a
materials in order to work.
The groups were pre
arranged by learning abilities in
order to balance the groups.
Each student in the groups had a job
previously assigned and displayed on their Team Point Sheets.
The students took ou
t their math
Teacher A (
used the Elmo to display “Place Value” problem/question
onto the board. The students interacted in their groups in order to determine the answer. One
person from each group presented the teams answer. T
he team with the correct answer received
Teacher A continued to provide the class with these types of questions, in order to
promote them to engage in cooperative learning. The questions progressively increased in
Also, a place v
alue chart is posted in the room for those learners that need the extra
*There are 1
aprofessionals each day in the Math, and R
eading blocks to assist the
educator with students who have language barriers, and learning concerns.
/End of Day
After Earned Time (afternoon recess), the students returned to their Art lesson
instructors in this district travel from school to school, as classes have art only on their scheduled
day. This is something that I am not use to, as previous schools that I have had experience with,
have their own art classroom.
In Art, the st
udents were designing their own fish with their name
inside. They were to color the fish once completed.
After Art, Teacher A had the students get
out their planners that they write their daily agenda in, so that they could be viewed, and initialed
e packing up to go home. Each planner is checked to ensure that any homework, or
important activity is recorded for the parents to view.
This provides a great visual for the
students, and aids in their organizational skills.
I really enjoyed
observing Teacher A, as he has amazing strategies in cooperative
learning. He also provides great tools for the children to use, and promotes them to use those
tools whenever necessary.
This is greatly beneficial in math, as many students at this age tend to
struggle with number sense.
I also like the way he walked around the room to assess each student
as they worked independ
tly, and with their groups.
also amazed with how
Teacher A was with
handling such a
In the classroom, there are a few behavior concerns, at which Teacher A handles
remarkably well. He has a “Star” system, as he encourages each student daily to “Be a Star.”
this manner he
asks the students to “
Check Their S
If the student acts out, and displays poor conduct they lose a star.
Teacher A provide
and encouraging environment for all students.
“Be a Star!”
inspirational quote from the observed fifth grade educator.
urs to date after observation: 2
, 5 minutes
August 28, 2012
Time to Date: 2
, 5 minutes
Morning Work (O
were getting everything they needed together for the start of their day. Once
back packs were put away, and their lunch/snack milk count recorded, they are to take a seat at
their desks to begin
Morning work consisited of a math packet
that they are
given at the beginning of the week, and are to complete as time allows.
The packets have a
different focus each week. This week the p
roblems were related to the Plac
e Value lessons they
have during the math block.
When the math packets are f
inished and answers correct, the students
are allowed to read their AR (acce
rated reader) books silently. I observed that this is the case
with most of the advanced students in the class.
(Photo of the class’s Morning R
Each student had previously constructed a time line of their own life. They first started
as a rough draft, organizing important dates on their line that they would like to share with
others. They needed to have at least 8
10 important date on their time
life in order to efficiently
complete the assignment. Once the rough draft was approved, Teacher A gave them a larger
sheet of paper to take home to complete the “My Life Timeline” with their families. For the
assignment, they were encouraged to express
their creativity by adding color, photos, or any
other appropriate artwork.
I observed the presentation part of the assignment. All students had completed their time
lines, and were ready to present when chosen. Teacher A
took the volunteers first. T
proceed to draw sticks out of a jar with the students name on it, in order to cho
se who was to go
next. For the majority, the students were excited
to share their lives with their classmates,
however, I did notice that
the few students in the class that had a difficult home life, were
reluctant. Teacher A noticed right away of the uncomfortable
emotions displayed by these
students. He gave them the option to present, but encouraged them to do so. Once these brave
dents made it through their presentations, they were relieved to have released such a heavy
burden. Teacher A thanked the students acknowledging the
difficulty, and displaying admiration
for their courage.
I was able to observe a great reflection of the
of the Ndura
characteristics in this lesson in that Teacher A not only was encouraging, but aided in the
building of their self
s they explored their diversity (Ndura 2006).
Today’s lesson was a
continuation from the previous day on Place Value. Again,
Teacher A used the Elmo to display examples of the work onto the board, as well as to work
along with the class. The Elmo provides a great visual for the students as they can see the steps
problems as they work along as a class.
Once reviewing the place value chart, Teacher A instructed the students to transition to
their groups. Each group had their own place value charts
, with the decimal point
, at which to
record their numbers. The s
tudents were to take turns rolling dice, and putting the rolled number
anywhere on the place value chart that they desired.
Once they had the number listed, the group
was to read the number discussing and understanding the value in each place.
groups quizzing each other on the values…”So how many tens do we have?...What is the value
of those tens?” It was great to see them facilitating to each other.
When the group activities we over, Teacher A distributed a worksheet for each student to
work on independently.
, the students
continued constructing their writing narratives.
student has their own writing binder in the classroom where they keep all writing notes, and
previous writing tools
Teacher A provided the instructed, then dismissed the class to retrieve
The writing process
for this assignment
consisted of a story map, rough draft, revised
(peer editing), and a final copy.
The students were provided a deadline, and we
to work at their own pace. Therefore, the students were at all different points within the process.
Teacher A did a
job at circulating the room to make sure that each student was on task
answering any questions that they had. Also, this was a great way to assess of their writing
abilities, as he was able to view their process, and
review their drafts.
students that had
a more difficul
y time, he would discuss with them their
outline, and modify their writing
with the binders on the shelf below.
Earned Time/End of Day
During this time,
the students take the time that they earned for great behavior active
learning and good outside. The maximum time earned is usually 20 minutes.
When returning from their afternoon “break,” the students were allowed to work on
independently at their desks. This gave Teacher A the opportunity to go around
assisting the students
and assessing who und
erstood the lessons for the day
If the students
completed their work, they were allowed to pack up for the day, and read silently
at their seats.
I really enjoyed
today’s observation. Teacher A does a great job at accommodating his
students with differences, and encouraging them all in doing their best, not only in the classroom,
but in “the world.”
y need this type of nurturing, as some of them do not re
enough. This aids in the fostering of great young men and women, as they prepare for
middle school transition.
binders for each student were
a great idea that I will personally use in my
classroom, as it provides a great reso
urce for the students. The bind
er included, the writing
process, proofreading marks, and other grammar instruction.
I also, think it allowed the student
to stay better
organized, instead of having to dig through their folders when time to pull out their
current writing pieces.
Total Hours to Date: 6
, 15 minutes
August 29, 2012
Time to Date:
Time In: 11:20 A
The students were organized into their cooperative learning groups to begin their Place
Value lesson. The “materials” person from each group distributed
the supplies, as the class was
instructed to pull out their math journals. Teacher A passed out the “
place in their journals at the very top of the page, so that they could show their work
below. The “Focus Question” is a creative way to introduce t
he lesson. The group works the
problem individually, then collaborates on their answers, making the needed corrections. The
group continued to work together in discovering the expanded notation of the problem. Teacher
then passed out another sheet to
paste into their journals. The sheets provided information on
exponents. The educator proceeded to provide the class with exponent examples.
/End of Day
Teacher A presented to the class the history of the Constitution,
and its importance. He
took time to answer any questions that they had, as many of the students had lived overseas in
other countries, and were not very familiar with this piece of history. He also referred to the
poster on his wall to provide a visual o
f what the document looks like. Teacher A proceeded to
discuss even further the Bill of Rights.
At this time, he accessed the
video on his
computer to display on the Smartboard. This video allowed the class to
in learning the
content of t
Bills of Rights,
and the creation of laws.
The auditory function of the video, and
provided visual aided in better teaching the material in aim for accurate comprehension of this in
One aspect of the lesson that I found intriguing was the dynamics that
consistently displays when engaging his students. For example, he explained to the students how
when a government official is elected to an office, they are required to take an oath. He then
proceeded to explain that this is even true of our pr
esident. To ensure the active participation of
all students, he had the entire class stand to take their own oath to presidency. This was very
creative, and the students loved it!
Social Studies corner
I learned many great
teaching strategies today, especially in cooperative learning. I have
seen the groups used in reading, but never in math. I felt like this was a great way to keep the
students engaged, as math at this age can be difficult. Therefore, when students are a
work in a group setting, they are able to have that extra point of view and support.
Brainstorming in groups is a very important aspect to learning.
I also witnessed the im
of keeping lessons fun, and giving the students voice behind th
eir own thought processes
Total Hours to Date: 8.0 h
August 30, 2012
Time to Date: 8
, 15 minutes
Time In: 8:45 A
Time Out: 10:15 A
(O, I, W)
As the students entered the room and were putting their things away, Teacher A
instructed the students to get out their planners in order to review their daily agenda. In the
midst of reviewing their plans for the day, the school had a fire drill. I obse
as he organized
, while grabbing a folder with his class roster, exiting the building promptly. As they
exited the building, I noticed that he remained by the door to collect an accurate head count to
ensure the safety of all students
After returning to class, the educator began their reading lesson for the day. Their focus
was on open
ended questions and paraphrasing. Teacher A introduced the book, “Soap, Soap,
Don’t Forget the Soap.”
The educator read
the book aloud, frequently pau
sing to ask the
students about the story. After he had finished the book, he asked them to verbally paraphrase
what he had read, assessing their active listening and comprehension. He randomly called upon
ovide their paraphrase. He al
had them provide examples of open
questions. Teacher A had his own examples of questions displayed on the Smartboard. The
students performed a “thumbs up, or thumbs down” to determine if the question he referred to
was an open
ended question or
not. This was an effective strategy to get
his students to
I really enjoyed watching the students engage in a read aloud from the educator. I think
that when the educator is able to be creative in their lesson planning they teach more effectively.
This proved true in the reading lesson. The entire class had fun
with the story, and all
asked questions concerning the book. The class as a whole enjoyed the lesson,
and I felt as if they understood the lesson on paraphrasing and open
ended questions, as they
actively contributed to the class discus
Teacher A encouraged his students to not be afraid
to try their
best, or to learn something new, even if they don’t understand the question.
Total Hours to Date: 9.0
, 45 minutes
August 31, 2012
Time to Date
Time in: 8:45A
Time out: 2
10:15 Morning Work/Guest Speaker
The students put away their things as every morning, and began their morning work,
math packet. As they were working on their packets,
their guest speaker arrived. The speaker
presented on “Conflict Resolution.” She explained the term conflict, and ways the students
could react in order to avoid or resolve the matter. She organized the class i
nto four groups to
act out scen
es of co
, and had them describe how to react properly to the other students. The
dramatic interaction provided a great visual for the students.
Today’s math lesson was focused on Place Value. The students worked in their
cooperative learning groups to complete a worksheet.
One person from each group
to represent their group, and provide the answers from their worksheet.
The teams acquire points
that one recorded on a point chart, as they respond with the corre
ct answer. After the worksheet
was completed, the groups were allowed to play the “Comparing Decimal” game. A worksheet
placed in a plastic sleeve, in order to write with a dry eraser marker, served as the game board.
The group members took turns rollin
g the dice. They would
number in a place value
on the game
board in a particular value, challenging their group members to determine the value
Teacher A gave the students the opportunity to work quietly on their unfinished writing
narratives, while waiting for the transition into the Social Studies block. If they were finished
with their narrative, they could begin a new writing piece, or work o
n their A.R. (accelerated
A.R. is a reading program,
at which the students read books within their level, and set
goals/points at which to achieve at the end of each quarter. There are incentives for reaching
their quarterly goals.
Today was eye
opening for me in that while observing the Place Value Math lesson, I
saw many of the students struggling with number sense.
I assumed that this is one of the
concerns that the instructor is also aware of, and why he is implementin
g the cooperative
learning groups into his classroom, along with the thorough
The educator is
very committed to
ensuring the best learning environment for each student in his class. I admire
the passion for encouraging, and building the
esteem of his class (Ndura 2006).
however wish that the students would have had more time to focus on writing skills today, as I
observed many writing concerns.
urs of Observation Completed: 13.0 h
, 25 minutes
September 4, 2012
to Date: 13
, 25 minutes
Time In: 8:40 A
Time Out: 10:05 A
10:10 SFA Reading
Today was the beginning of the Success for All (SFA) reading program for the school
year. This program is designed to
place students within their reading level and provide them
with appropriate literary education. Teacher A instructs a 5.1 reading group of 18 students, 10
boys, and 8 girls. Among the group, 4 students were ELL(students with language barriers), and
e of special needs
At the beginning of the class Teacher A gave the instructions for the SFA program, and
the rules for his classroom in order to
designate his expectations. He ensured the student that he
wanted them to have fun, but most importan
tly, learn to become better readers.
the students cooperative learning groups. He passed out a large index card
to each student. He asked them to personalize their own “license plate” to represent who they
are as individuals. They could put
where they were from, favorite food, favorite sport, family
etc… Once each student created their plate, they were to collaborate as a group to use one
characteristic about each person in their group to come up with a Team Name.
This activity was
a great w
ay to assess the students of their personality traits, and their creative talents. The
cooperative learning groups for the reading program
seems very effective.
The Success for All reading program is fairly new to
as well as for many of the
students. I found it appropriate for Teacher A to explain the program, and the expectations from
the very beginning, as this first day is more for introduction, and “Team Building.”
shows great diversity, as I am cur
ious to see how effective the lessons are executed.
In creating the “license plates,” the educator brainstormed a great activity for the students
in fostering their cultural pride (Ndura 2006).
Success for All Website:
Total Hours to Date: 14
September 5, 2012
Time to Date: 14
, 55 minutes
Time In: 8:40
(O, I, W)
Today began Day 1 of Cycle 1 for SFA. Teacher A passed out the group score sheets,
and introduced their Team Cooperation Goals. These goals are daily goals that each group must
be held accountable for, and strive to reach. The Team
(everyone paying attention)
(everyone finishing their work)
Help and Encourage Others
(be a good teammate)
(everyone working and contributing)
Explain Ideas and Tell Why
(gives your reasoni
ng and be able to explain in supporting
Teachers A modeled these goals through vides for the students, as they enabled them to
visual see how the groups were to operate. Teacher A displayed these videos via
. He pause
o refer to the videos and further explain what they were
viewing as to ensure comprehension, as well as, take any question
At the end
of class, he passed out Read and
Respond sheets, and explained that each
evening they are to read and record a short summary of their text to bring back to class the
next day for points. He made sure that each student had a sheet before leaving the classroom.
Goal, and points chart
Teacher A efficiently delivered the lesson on Team Cooperation. He urged them to
“Think, Pair, Share.” Think about it…Pair up with your p
artners to come to a conclusion… T
Share with the rest of your group or to the class.
This is great for the students in order to discuss
and gather ideas for each other.
Having the views of others allows the student to think about
things from a different perspective that they may not
I think that the
educator accurately displays the Ndura Characteristics throughout the lessons, as he is
continually encouraging the students. Even if they make a mis
take, he applauds their efforts
Total Hours to Date:
September 6, 2012
Time to Date: 16
Time In: 8:40
: 2:15 P
(O, I, W)
Today’s lesson was Day 2 of Cycle 1. The focus of the lesson was “Clarifying.” The
students came in to the room, collected their materials, and took their seats in their groups. The
students where quickly asked to reflect on the strategies they could us
e to learn how to say a
word, or determine its meaning.
The students spoke among their groups until each group had a
strategy to share.
Teacher A then proceeded to show a video on clarifying, providing visual
representation to the students of the different strategies they are expected to use and discover in
their SFA reading class.
The educator stopped the video accordingly as to explain t
parts of the video to ensure everyone’s comprehension.
Now, it was time to put it in practice. The groups were provided a passage, and a set of
strategy cards as their guide. As a group, they read the passage looking for “sticky situations,
words or phrases they did not know, to analyze. Once the phrase/word was found, they put a
sticky not on it to mark its location. The group then used the strategy cards to figure out the
, and meaning using the appropriate or best strat
At the end of class, he made
sure to pass out Read and Responds to each student.
ath lesson, was again
focused on Place Value, seeing how the students have
shown difficulty with the concepts.
The students worked in their cooperative learning groups to
complete a worksheet. One person from each group was chosen to represent their group, and
provide the answers from their worksheet. The teams acquire points that one recorded on a point
s they respond with the correct answer. After the worksheet was completed, the groups
were allowed to play the “Comparing Decimal” game. A worksheet placed in a plastic sleeve, in
order to write with a dry eraser marker, served as the game board. The gr
oup members took
turns rolling the dice. They would place
number in a place value on the game board in a
particular value, challenging their group members to determine the value of
the created number.
Teacher A g
ave the class instructions for their new narratives.
were to follow the Writing Process, and create a narrative on their “First.” This could be their
“First” plane ride, “First” ballgame, “First day of school… and so on.
Seeing how this was
Day 1 of the new writing instruction, they were to brainstorm their
ideas, and come up with a set topic to their narrative. Once their topic was approved by Teacher
A, they were allowed to get their Writing binders to begin organizing details for their wr
I really like this writing idea in that it allows the students to celebrate who they are, and
to write about a special “First” in their life. Teacher A also uses the Ndura characteristics of
for the student with difficulties in that he
modified some of the
writing process for some students. For example, one student who is slower, and has difficulties
with handwriting was allowed to type instead of write. Some students were also provided wit
quiet setting for better focus (Ndura 2006).
During the Grammar block, Teacher A
had developed a
for each student
to work on individually.
He distributed the packets to each student, and grabbed their attention
for instruction. He went over each page of the packet to read the instructions, and to provide
examples for the tasks to be performed.
The packets consisted of parts of speech, and
ppropriate comma use.
He then asked them to work quietly at their seat, and reminded them of
the class STAR chart. Those who did not follow
were to pull a star off the chart by
their name, as a consequence.
Grammar bulletin board
Today the educator seemed to be a little stressed after the reading lesson. The behaviors
in the class were not what they
were instructed to be, making
it difficult to teach and for others to
I felt as if he was just trying to “get through the day,” in order to hopefully have a better
class the next morning.
Even with consequences or rein
forcement in place, the students
still seemed to
The use of the STAR system was
not effective today.
He actually had to dismiss
one student to support staff as behavior became inappropriate, and defiant.
Seeing this type of
behavior provided me with insight of how I can possibly reinforce the behaviors within my own
e maintain control of the students as well as my own frustrations.
Total Hours to Date: 20
September 7, 2012
Time to Date: 20
, 10 minutes
Time In: 8:40 A
(O, I, W)
Today’s reading lesson was Day 3 of Cycle 1. The lesson was a continuation of the
Team Cooperation and Clarifying lessons, as to
portance of the group learning
and reading strategies.
The students organized into t
heir groups, collected materials and prepared for the lesson.
Teacher A continued the clarifying videos for the class. The videos focused on partner strategies
on how to clarify words in a passag
e that they can
not pronounce, or may not know the meaning.
The videos, provided examples of what
hese strategies should look like. After the video,
Teacher A asked the group to “Think, Pair, Share” on how they can help the members in their
group with these strategies.
After the group
s finished their discussion
r answers for the instructor.
pull out their previous
” that represents their team, and
work on the
m for the remainder
of the class
Today’s reading lesson was more of a review over the past two days. Teacher A
went over the reading strategies, and cooperation goals, as to stress the importance of
these aspects to the constructed reading program.
You could tell I was the
first week of th
reading, but the instructor found positive use for some of the “holes” in the lesson. I do like how
he seemed to “think on his feet” if something did not go accordingly.
I really liked how the instructor allows each student the
opportunity to speak, or answer a
If a fellow classmate tries to interrupt, Teacher A enforce their opportunity to speak
without being disrespected.
This is great reference to the Ndura Characteristic of enforcing
equal opportunity within the c
lassroom (Ndura 2006).
Total Hours to Date: 21
Classroom Management and Discipline Techniques Observed
Teacher A utilized many of the discipline
and classroom management techniques. I had
many of the techniques successfully exe
cuted, throughout my visits
to the building
Teacher A upholds these standards within his classroom for each student.
a “STAR” system for consequences. This is where the students are to “Check
f,” or your behavior. The students begin with five STARS for the week. Each poor
choice results in the removal of a STAR. If at the end of the week you have zero STAR’s
remaining, you lose the opportunity for the class incentive or “STAR Party.”
AR Chart is
visible at all times so that the students may have
that constant reminder
of making positive
(Photo of STAR Chart…
Visual display of
Actions Have Consequences)
The building in general has a “zero tolerance” policy for bullying and poor behavior.
school is a “Bucket Filling” school, at which the students are to strive each day to fill one others
build ones self
esteem in an act of kindness.
type of positive reinforcement is
set school wide, and is practiced consistently.
(Photo of the “Bucket Filling Rules” posted in Teacher A’s classroom, and around the school.)
(Photo of the school wide method for getting the attention of the
students, while promoting their
Techniques that I observed Teacher A utilizing are as follows
Before beginning a lesson, or giving any form of instruction, Teacher A would
make sure that he had everyone’s attention, and that his students were practicing their
actively listening skills.
Teacher A provided h
is students with direct instruction in order to set
the guidelines, in hopes of them accurately following instruction and meeting
educator with great nurturing abilities, Teacher A
stly practiced Low=Profile Intervention. He had enough respect
students to where
he could handle most behaviora
l concerns on an indirect, low
manner, without having to stop his lesson.
Teacher A ensured that each student experienced an
was present in both Teacher A’s homeroom class, as well as his
SFA Reading group.
The instructor used
to set expectation, at which
was continually present in the classroom.
CD’s accessible with
(Photo of the
in the front of the classroom
This board reflects
used with the Smartboard)
(Photo of the
used to display “written” work
onto the Smartboard… Notice the
to provide better sound for the students.)
Assessment Techniques Utilized in the Classrooms
Informal Assessments we made daily in Teacher A’s classroom, during my observations.
group, listening for comprehension, checking for fluency,
assessing adequate skills… The educator circulated the room constantly
as to work with
individuals and to view their progress.
was a great way to assess the students,
as Teacher A c
ould view their individual work to note efficient strategy use and problem solving
also served in assessing the students, as they were used to assess their
comprehension of the lessons.
* No Formal Assessments were given during
EDUC 216 Foundations of Education Lab
Key Characteristics of Culture in the Classroom
throughout the day,
as the class is of
Math, Writing, SFA
lessons each day
Math, Writing, SFA
is constant, and
present each day of
Throughout the day
children have lived
y year have you been an educator?
Three years, with all three being in this current district.
Q. What training have you received for working with students from different
I have not received any diversity specified training through the di
strict at this time, however
we have had training to support our ELL and ESS students. In college,
was a course that I had for my major in Elementar
This provided me with many
resources that I continually use within my classroom.
Q. What changes
have you made in your
nstruction to accommodate for
the students differences?
I make a point to review the
records and any other documents that they have on
file. I also begin the school year with many activities, so that I can assess each student to
determine their individual needs.
I provide quiet settings, extra academic assistance, with the
help of our s
assignments, and tests, as well as arrange the students in
appropriate seating to accommodate their needs while learning.
I have also had some of my
students come in before school for tutoring.
What technique teaching have you fo
und most effective in your teaching?
. I use many techniques, as I try to find what works better for that particular group, but I
really enjoy Cooperative Learning. This has been very effective in my classroom.
What is the most difficult part in acco
mmodating such diversity in your classroom?
Accommodating diversity is never easy, but I think the most difficult part is just making sure
that each student gets what they need, and that I was able
to provide that for
them. I have to
educate myself on many aspects.
But these are resources that I will always be able to
implement within my classroom. I do not always know how to accommodate all of my students,
therefore researching and brainstorming with fellow st
aff is beneficial.
EDUC216 Diversity Observation Log
Other Photos from the Observed Classroom
halkboard at the front of the classroom, displaying their daily/weekly agenda)
(Photo: Math manipulative and resources easily
(Photo: Reading corner, and class library.)
(Photo: Class Guidelines, and STAR Chart.)
Diversity is apparent in our culture. forms of diversity frequently acknowledged are that
of gender, race, and poverty. With the
state of our country, poverty is the form of
diversity most often referred to in today’s society. The
, leaving many to
worry about the security of their future. Poverty
enables individuals to change their mindset as
the struggle to survive seems to overcome any desire to achieve goals or gain success
The Framework of Understandi
Poverty by Ruby Payne allowed me to develop a better
poverty, and the resources available on how to respond to this diverse
circumstance. This book is enlightening as I began to reflect on the many ways this text relates
to my own educat
As a student in elementary and middle school, I was not always aware of the
differences. All I knew was that of my environment. I attended kindergarten
through eighth grade at the same school. This school was located in
a rural region where most
made their livings as farmers, factory workers or in other vocational areas. It was in the county
where the school funding and opportunity was much lower than that of the city schools.
However, educators strived for inexpensive
creative ways to construct lessons and activities.
During my high school experience, socioeconomic diversity became more apparent as I
began to notice the difference between those students who attended the county schools versus the
city. I attended high
school in the same rural area as
and middle school. Compared
to the schools in the city, we were considered “lower class.” Our building and sports facilities
needed repairs, and our educational resources were limited. While the city
more “professional” courses like foreign languages and marketing, our
in vocational courses like welding or electricity. It almost felt as if my educational opportunities
were restricted to the “blue collar” workforce,
while the more
students within the city
limits were being prepared for the white collar professions.
This was disheartening, but I was
determined to succeed, regardless of my environment.
college education in itself was
diverse as I
attended two different schools during my
first three years. I attended my first two years in a private, Christian college before transferring.
The institution had high tuition, but was known for academics, as it was often referred to as the
I had fellow classmates
that drove very expensive cars while speaking
very proper, if not of another language. Some of their parents were also on the board for the
college. Despite feeling like I do not fit in, I did receive a well
ducation as their
general education requirements were extended to promote higher academic standards. I do regret
that after two years, I could no longer a
fford to remain at the college. Ther
fore, after getting
I transferred to a public, local un
iversity that I could better afford. It was a great school,
yet very different from the previous
in that the environment was more relaxed and less
focused on socioeconomic stature
This made it more comfortable for me, as I felt like I could
relate to my environment more so than I
From my experiences within the classroom
I can relate many aspects of Payne’s work to
observed. Students from poverty stricken backgrounds tend to struggl
nts to have low self
esteem, making little strides in academic achievement. One
more than one occasion, I have observed these students without school supplies, as their parents
do not have the money to purchase them. Also, some of these students do not t
urn in their
assignments, and if they do happen to bring back their homework, it is of poor quality.
concerning part to what these students experience are the lack of parent involvement.
a large percentage of these diverse students t
o act out, having behavioral concerns
My own child attends a school in a lower income district. Their
compared to other districts
. They have begun cutting programs like art, in order to
save money. In her
y lack the resources,
educators are forced to have
to pay for many
things out of pocket.
However, with diminutive funds, the school’s
have really pulled together in raising
money for student activities
which has been
extremely appreciated by the staff. This is just a good example of how parent involvement at
any level in better than nothing at all.
These students, including my own chi
ld, are able to have
they need each day in order to excel in the classroom.
With the burden of
being able to provide for her students removed, the teachers are now able to focus on eff
educating the students by accommodating
, and now with
the tools, better integrating curriculum
ong social classes are considered by educators to be the most
s on th
ment. There are many that
feel that our government is
what has caused this to transpire. Due to poor decisions made by our elected officials, a gap has
formed between the social classes (Garner 2008).
I would have to agree with those educators in that from my own educational exp
I too have seen the diversity and struggles of those in poverty. It is difficult to admit that the
citizens of our country, more less our students, do not have equal opportunity due to their
socioeconomic standing. This is
a major concern, and
is our duty as teachers to try and bridge
those gaps to the best of our abilities, and to educate ourselves on the strategies and resources
available. We cannot eliminate poverty, but we can exhaust every effort to promote learning by
guiding the all stud
ents in positive directions (Payne 2006).
Churchward, B. (2009).
11 Techniques for Better Classroom D
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Social class 'determines child's success
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Kansas Department of Education Report Card 2011
). Retrieved from
Levine, D.U., & Ornstein, A.C. (2008).
undations of E
. Boston and New York:
Ndura, E. (2006). Reflections of Teachers Cultures in the Classroom: Beginning to see and hear.
Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education, 8
13. Retrieved March 5, 2010,
Payne, R. K. (1996).
A Framework for Understanding P
ed.). Highlands, TX: aha.
Success for All
(2005). Retrieved from