For our Curriculum and Methods Seminar, we were assigned to reflect and write 5 Narrative Reports. I enjoyed reflecting about individual students' personalities, strengths, and needs as a learner in our classroom. I feel that the skill of writing these narrative reports will greatly aid me as a future teacher. Here, I have included 3 representative Narrative Reports. The first is a learner narrative, the second is a sample parent letter, and the third is a sample recommedation for an award. * Please note that pseudonyms were used for all student names. Elise’s Learner Narrative: “I like reading, but I don’t like chatter.” School/Classroom/ Background
Elise attends the fourth grade at Wallingford Elementary School, which is located in the Pennsylvania town of Wallingford, a predominantly upper-middle class community. According to the school’s website, “ ‘Just the facts’ does not cut it here. Students are actively engaged in meaningful learning experiences. As a result they gain a wealth of skills, vast amounts of knowledge, and a genuine life-long love for learning.” There are opportunities for students to pursue their interests through before and after school activities such as French or Spanish Club, and numerous in-school enrichment activities such as the Global Warming Group, instrument lessons, Student Council, or Math Olympiad. Children participate in these activities based on personal interest, and are expected to balance both extracurricular activities and academic curriculum. Some activities involve parent support, and parents are usually actively engaged with the students either through the home or school, or both. The school also seems to strive to provide an environment where individual attention is given to all those who need it, especially through their enrichment, IST, and IEP programs. The most striking sign in Elise’s classroom is a banner in the back of the classroom that states “What will you learn today? What will you teach today?” This particular classroom seemed to encourage an atmosphere where students were invited to share their learning and bring in personal interests. The desks were grouped in clusters, with about 4 to 5 desks in each group. Student-crafted, paper-maché globes hung from the ceilings, and carefully made snowflakes spotted the windows. On the board, the “Do Now” was placed at the far left and the daily schedule was placed at the far right. In the back of the room, charts of contractions lined the blackboard, remnants of when students performed “grammar surgery” on words with the “contractionitis” disease. Several poster size board games were propped up on the blackboard, which served as visual aids for students’ Book Share projects. According to the fourth grade teachers in the school, fourth grade was as an academic leap for many students. Fourth grade was when school became more “academic”, meaning students started to be held more accountable to their learning by taking tests, student’s responsibility for homework increased relative to earlier grades, and paragraph and essay writing became an important part of their success in all content areas. According to previous teachers, Elise had thrived in earlier classrooms, because of her independence; desire to do well in school, and her general love of reading.
Physical presence and gesture
Upon entering the classroom for the first time, I did not notice Elise right away. She seemed quietly engaged at her desk. She was not talking to other students, but she was moving her pencil across a piece of paper. During discussions of literature, picture books, and reading, Elise often raised her hand to provide her insight on whatever was being read. She seemed to have a keen sense for drawing themes and trends in literature, and often made personal connections to text. While her voice was often soft in volume, Elise often raised her hand during class discussions. In age, she was younger than most the students in the...