Urban schooling environments provide opportunities for unique problem solving skills to develop through difficult situations. Several strategies have been developed to help create an effective learning environment for students within the urban school system. Some of the methods that have proven to be the most effective include: differentiation, student initiative, and emphasis on relevance. When these three key elements can come together in a classroom, then the result in student achievement is outstanding.
The teachers of Steven’s Elementary and Wheat Ridge 5-8 have done a marvelous job of bringing all of these ideas and theories to life, based on the visits made by the Urban School Field class. From the uniform classroom devices, like literacy curriculum introduced in second grade, then established in third and fourth, introduced by the principal of Steven’s Elementary School to the very visual way Spanish is being taught at Wheat Ridge 5-8, it is obvious that both schools take into account their situations. Because both schools do not shy away from the demographics, the home lives, the students, the area, or the continuous new teachers, they are able to begin making plans on how to best interact with what they have. Their ingenuity showed me, personally, why these concepts work so well in Urban Schools, and how to apply them. Everything I produced in this paper came from being able to visually see entire schools deciding that this is what works best to achieve success in the most efficient and enjoyable way. The focus they maintained on the students was astounding as I watched what I have been studying matter.