Observation of IEP Students at Class


The object of observation was the second-grade classroom of 25 students. Seven students study according to the Individualized Education Program due to hearing impairments. The focus of observation is an adaptation of the teaching process to the needs of the students with the IEP.

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How is space arranged in this classroom?

In the class, students sit by two. Children with hearing impairments are sitting close to the teacher, in her direct line of vision so that they can lip-read. There is a group table for work with a special education teacher. The school has a playground, and students receive recess after lunch with lunch monitors.

Is the classroom safe and healthy?

The classroom space is well-organized and safe. It allows students to fulfill different activities at the lessons. The classroom is light; there is enough space in it for teamwork and team performances. The furniture is arranged well, and there are no unsafe objects in the room.

What kinds of materials are available to the children to encourage learning?

The classroom is equipped with bright visual aids and artifacts. There is a word-wall aimed at the expansion of students’ vocabulary; the teacher said the words are reviewed weekly. The class is also equipped with a projector, which is very important for delivering the material to the students with hearing impairments. There is a bookcase with illustrated reference books and children’s literature: students are allowed to take books home. The teacher introduced an activity called “Quotation of the week”: each week, students see a quotation of a famous person devoted to the importance of learning, friendship, cooperation, teamwork, etc.

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What kinds of classroom routines do you notice?

The classroom routines are adapted to the needs of the students with the IEP. Three general education students are assigned to help their classmates with hearing impairments: they make sure they turn to the right page and follow other teacher’s directions. Teaching is fulfilled by the general education teacher and the special education teacher who comes to work with the IEP students for 2 hours daily (two times for 1 hour). The students with the IEP work at the group table where the teacher helps them to complete the general teacher’s assignments. The students with the IEP are not isolated in their learning: they complete the same work like the rest of the class, which contributes to their psychological comfort. They are given additional time for the completion of the assignment.

How is the day scheduled?

Students arrive at 8:25 am, the day begins with the journal prompt. Students have reading/language arts until 10:00 am. The bathroom is at 10:00 am, and the lunch is at 11:00 am – 11:45 am. After lunch, students have lessons: math, science, social studies. When lessons finish, students work at the gym for 40 minutes. The special education teacher arrives two times daily to help students with the IEP during the lessons: at 9.30 am – 10:30 am, and at 1:15 am – 2:15 am. The day schedule is organized appropriately, students’ learning and rest are well-balanced.

Who talks to children? How and when?

Students with IEP have active communication and do not feel isolated. They mostly talk to each other as they understand each other well. However, they also communicate with the rest of the class between the lessons: facial expressions, gestures, and writing are used. Children understand each other well. Some activities imply communication between students with the IEP and the rest of the class at the lessons. This significantly contributes to the IEP students’ socialization. They are always very glad to talk with the special education teacher, but communication with the general education teacher also does not cause problems. The IEP students write notes when they have to say something complicated; to share a short message, they use gestures.

What levels of play are different children engaged in?

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Play is one of the integral parts of the educational process in class. The teacher regularly offers students to play educational games where both the IEP children and the rest of the class are engaged. When children form teams, the teacher makes sure each team has the members from the IEP group. The rules of games are adapted to the peculiarities of IEP children’s communication. Students with the IEP also play with their classmates at the school playground. Playing games helps IEP children socialize, develop self-confidence and communication skills.

Describe an instructional activity observed

The observed instructional activity was the teamwork assignment at the science lesson. The lesson was devoted to the water cycle. The general education teacher explained the material verbally with the help of visual aids and a short video demonstrated using the projector. The special education teacher helped the IEP students to comprehend the material. After that, students split into groups, and each group had to create a simplified scheme of the water cycle in the form of a drawing or a collage. IEP children cooperated with their classmates, participated in scheme development and drawing. After the groups finished their work, they presented and explained their schemes.

Describe how the children’s socio-emotional needs are met

The teachers put considerable effort into the maintenance of socio-emotional comfort of the IEP children. They do not emphasize the difference between the IEP children and their classmates but adapt the educational process itself. The strategy that they follow turns out to be very effective. On the one hand, IEP students do not feel that they are isolated or treated in a particular way. On the other hand, they can cope with the assignments, which also contributes to their emotional comfort and self-esteem. IEP students are often given responsibilities in class. The teachers have fulfilled impressive work on creating and maintaining tolerance and understanding in class: all students successfully interact and do not emphasize the difference between them.

How does the teacher manage the classroom?

The general education teacher succeeds in managing the educational process in class. She has full control of the classroom, observes children’s behavior and work, and reacts immediately in case any problem occurs. The teacher chooses the optimal intensity and pace for the classwork so that the IEP children do not stay behindhand. She is always ready to help the students with the IEP but does not forget about the other children. The teacher keeps all students interested and involved in the learning process. She successfully explains assignments and manages teamwork.

How are different children learning?

The children with the IEP are more attentive and concentrated at the lessons: on the one hand, they are afraid of missing something the teacher says; on the other hand, they work with the special education teacher and cannot be distracted. At the same time, IEP children rarely ask questions. It seems that they do not want to break the rhythm of work at the lesson. Sometimes they ask the special education teacher to explain something once again if it is possible in the course of the lesson. The rest of the students address their questions to the general education teacher; they ask quite actively.

How does the teacher differentiate for children of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds?

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The teacher’s approach to differentiation in cultural backgrounds is based on two points. The first aspect is understanding. The teacher explained that she does significant work on expanding her notion of cultures and cultural differences to understand her students. The second aspect is adaptation. Using her knowledge, the teacher adapts the way she explains the material to the students considering their vocabulary. She also tries to consider cultural aspects in teamwork knowing that there are cultural differences in the way children distribute responsibilities, communicate, make decisions, etc. At the social studies lessons, the teacher tells children about cultures and brings up respect to them.

How does the teacher differentiate between children who have difficulty learning or appear to have a disability? The teacher does her best to make the learning process convenient for the children with the IEP. She had to revise the way she explains the new topics. The teacher uses simple language and short sentences. She always remembers that her IEP students try to lip-read. The teacher studied literature about lip-reading and uses facial expressions, body language, and gestures very attentively. She focuses on the visual part of materials rather than on the verbal: her talk is illustrated with visual aids. She also presents all important information, like home assignments, written on the blackboard.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Observation of IEP Students at Class." March 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/observation-of-iep-students-at-class/.


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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Observation of IEP Students at Class." March 19, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/observation-of-iep-students-at-class/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Observation of IEP Students at Class'. 19 March.

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