Topic: Field Lab Project SCED 6050
Prattville Christian Academy is a private high school located in Prattville, AL in a rural area and has 668 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12th. Prattville Christian Academy is the 17th largest private high school in Alabama and the 800th largest nationally. It has a student/ teacher ratio of 16.0 to 1. The student body of Prattville Christian Academy in Prattville, Alabama is made up of 5 ethnicities. The largest ethnic group of the 668 students at Prattville Christian Academy is White (91.5%). This is followed by Black (5.9 %), Mixed Students of two or more ethnicities (1.5 %), Hispanic (0.9 %) and Asian (0.2 %). The student body of Prattville Christian Academy in Prattville, Alabama is about evenly split between males and females. The male population of the school is slightly larger; 341 of the 668 students (51.8 %) are male whereas 327 of the 668 students (48.2 %) are female.
Prattville Christian Academy promotes good behavior by having a code of conduct, which states that each student is expected to be a proper, law abiding citizen and exemplify the school and the name of Jesus at all times; hence, student behavior on or off campus that is immoral, dishonest, unlawful, or in any means reflects unfavorably on PCA can result in abrupt expulsion. PCA prepares students for college by creating and preserving an environment that supports learning. The creation of such an environment depends on each student’s willingness to take responsibility for his or her own actions and to meet the demands of a fruitful scholastic setting. Inappropriate behavior will be handled in a manner suitable to the significance of the offense.
The table below describes my observation hours and activities partaken while at Prattville Christian Academy, such as observing class projects, labs, and tutoring:
February 10, 2015
7:30 - 1:00
Observation: Engineering Group Project
February 20, 2015
7:30 - 2:00
Observation: Physics Slinky Lab
February 27, 2015
7:30 - 1:00
Observation: Tutoring at Resource Center
March 9, 2015
7:30 - 1:00
Observation: Solar System Model Project
March 20, 2015
7:15 – 3:00
Teaching: Science/Stars & Galaxies
II. Evaluating Existing Methods
Students clearly have practiced classroom procedures, and Mr. Dean has done well in establishing them. He uses several posters which are on the walls around the classroom reminding students of his expectations. Prattville Christian Academy is a school that utilizes technology-based learning by using Apple laptops. When students enter the classroom they immediately head for their seats, open their laptops to the chapter PowerPoint presentation, and patiently wait for class to start with conversation. According to Wong’s (2009) The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher, pg.88, only a thriving classroom produces students who are on task and know what to achieve to be prosperous.
While observing Mr. Dean’s 5th period honors class full of middle school students, I noticed he created an environment that was advantageous to learning in which all the students appeared to feel at ease due to his kind, welcoming personality, and also because he was approachable and seemed to hold a genuine interest in hearing his students' thoughts. Students seem to be at ease and engaged, and seem to eagerly want to learn. Furthermore, while teaching, he positions himself so that most, if not all of the class is visible. I witnessed a significant classroom management behavioral challenge while in Mr. Dean’s 6th period class. This challenge was managing a noisy classroom. However, Mr. Dean was trying to teach class at one of the most challenging times of the year (the day before Spring Break), which was on a Friday. Many students entered the classroom very boisterously without taking their seats. While most of the class sat down, a couple of students remained standing while talking to their