Cause And Effect 2 Essay, Research Paper
Cause and Effect
The mission of public schooling is to offer every child full and equal educational opportunity, regardless of the background, education, and income of his/her parent(s). To achieve this goal, no time is as precious or as fleeting as the first years of formal schooling. Research consistently shows that children who get off to a good start in reading rarely stumble. Those who fall behind tend to stay behind for the rest of their academic lives. Good teaching and a good classroom reading program can bring most students up to or near a grade level during the primary grades. But sustaining this accomplishment is difficult when a large percentage of a school s students are failing ( Preventing Reading Difficulties ). I have noticed that Eric Gaines and Tyshericka Taylor, two students of Mrs. Allen s first/second grade class cannot read at a level that s acceptable for their age. I believe that this is a problem that stems from several factors. One cause of this problem is Mrs. Allen s unorganized classroom and ineffective teaching. Disorganized classrooms have negative effects on early education learning. I was concerned to find that both Eric and Tyshericka are in the first grade for the second time, due to being held back from promotion to the second grade. It was even more alarming to personally witness both of them still not progressing in their basic first grade reading skills. I strongly feel that the children are affected negatively by the unorganized classroom and ineffective teaching of their teacher.
In any given classroom in America on any given day, there is a room filled with individual children who are likely to have very different educational strengths and weaknesses. All children simply do not learn everything at the same pace. Children also come to kindergarten and first grade with different kinds of preschool literacy experiences, if any at all. It is important to note that, for children at risk of reading difficulties, high-quality experience during preschool years cannot be seen as a way to prevent all reading difficulties. If a child has an enriched early childhood environment but attends an elementary school with ineffective teaching, the child remains at risk.
Insufficient or ineffective teaching is a problem that can be caused by many factors. A teacher s disorganization, inattentiveness, and lack of motivation are all factors that affect the lives and education of students. Organization in a classroom plays an essential role in the effectiveness of a teacher.
A classroom organized for literacy learning invites children to use print in purposeful ways: wherever possible, written language materials for reading and writing are incorporated naturally and authentically. Individuals and groups of children are able to interact with materials independently, regularly, freeing the teacher to work with individuals or small groups. The setting is safe and supportive and enables all learners to develop confidence, take risks, develop social skills, and learn to work independently. In short, an organized and well-designed classroom enables the teacher to observe, support, and meet the learning needs of each child (Fountas, 43).
Mrs. Allen s classroom organization has many flaws. The arrangement of furniture and space in her classroom poses a problem to the students learning. Workspace for the children is not readily available for use, but rather cluttered and messy (see photographs). Areas in the room that could be used as classroom centers are piled high and overflowing with garbage bags of materials that are not being used. Areas that do contain centers for learning are completely unorganized. The children are encouraged to practice their writing skills in one area of Mrs. Allen s classroom, yet the paper to write on is in one corner of the room, while the pens, pencils, and markers are in another corner of the classroom. In areas that have been designated as learning centers, they have not been properly supplied or stocked with the necessary items. Just the other day, I was working with Tyshericka and Eric, practicing reading of numbers. We decided to take the lesson a step further and practice the spelling and writing out of the numbers. This was not a simple task to pursue. The dry-erase boards were stacked in the front of the classroom, the markers were on a shelf in the back that was too high for the students reach, and the bag of socks (which are used in place of erasers) were in the middle of the room by the computers. When space, furniture, and materials are arranged with the activities of the classroom in mind, children can work more successfully and independently. Small-group work areas should have enough space, materials, and chairs for the number of children who will typically be working there. Crowding makes it frustrating for children to work together productively (Fountas, 44). Whatever way the learning areas are organized, it is necessary to have ample materials and supplies, pertinent to that learning center s purpose, ready for the children s use.
Because reading is such a complex activity, children need an environment offering rich support and varied learning opportunities for every successive stage of their literacy development. Any child who is falling behind should be able to get immediate and appropriate assistance. No assumption about or labeling of the cause of the problem should be necessary. Unfortunately, under current funding systems, millions of children can get help only if they are classified as learning disabled or impaired in various ways. The long-term effects of disorganization, and ineffective teaching can be detrimental to a child s literacy development alone. Poor early childhood learning leads to failure in school, labeling of students and costly remediation to correct early educators ineffectiveness. Organization in the classroom is a key factor to effective teaching.
Fountas, Irene C., and Gay Su Pinnell. Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1996.
Preventing Reading Difficulties. Starting Out Right, A Guide to Promoting Children s Reading Success, Online, Available HTTP: http://books.nap.edu/html/sor/sor-4.htm.