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Field Notes 4/1/13 and 4/3/13

Monday, April 1, 2013


Today was the first day back to school after a week of spring break. Students have new seating assignments. One student asked Ms. Bard what they were learning today and she responded, “You will see!” The second bell did not ring yet, but many of the students already settled in and began on working on the do-now assignment. I noticed that many of the students finished before the five minute timer and that they just sat in their seats looking at the screen waiting for their classmates to finish. I think that those students should be working on other necessary material; perhaps, Ms. Bard could give them extra material to work on. She might give some extra problems from textbook to those students.

Some students did not know how to do a challenge problem, they just gave up. I was amazed at the speed of abandoning their effort to solve those problems. They would immediately call out “I don’t know” without even trying to attempt it or just sat there and waited to see if their other classmates will do it. On many of students’ whiteboards, they read, “IDK” or “I don’t know where to begin.”

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Field Notes #3

Friday, February 2, 2013 - Field Placement Visit #2

Ms. Bard greeted her students as they entered her classroom. They came in doing the usual routine, which is to settle down and work on things listed on the do-now paper. Students walked into the classroom carrying their binders, folders, books, and other materials they needed. No backpacks were seen in the classroom. All students left their belongings on their blue rectangular desk. Each desk could fit only two students. However, I found these desks too small for some of Ms. Bard's students. It caused them to slouch in their chairs in addition to having their legs spread out very wide. While peering over one student's desk I noticed clean copies of Maus I and Night wrapped in a rubber band. I assumed that they were reading these books in 10th grade English. Seeing these books made me recall my 10th grade English class where I also read these two books when learning about the holocaust.

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Field Notes #2

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - Field Placement Visit #1

As I approached the brown brick building of Excellence Charter School (ECS) at Learning Campus, groups of African-American students lingered around the front door and off to the side of the building talking to each other before school began. I entered the two glass doors and notified a white-male teacher at the front door to inform him that I was here for field placement with Jane Bard. (Jane Bard is a first year teacher). He directed me to the front desk to sign in. After I signed in, I went to Room 107 and saw my host teacher sitting in front of her laptop preparing for the day. Ms. Bard welcomed me and provided me a clipboard with three sheets of the assigned seating for the three math courses I would be observing.

When the first school bell rang, 10th graders began trickling into the classroom for their first class of the day -- geometry. Ms. Bard greeted her students saying "Good morning Tom" and "Good morning Anna" by calling out her students’ first names. She then asked her students how their internships were going. When they saw the new assigned seats, some of Ms. Bard's students called out, "We got new seats?!" Mrs. Bard tried to calm her class down by having her students focus on the Do-Now, which is a silent and independent task.  Since this was a new semester and a new year, Mrs. Bard had some questions she wanted to know from students. They were:

1. Which expectations will be most challenging for you?

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In the beginning of the party, Bryn sat in her seat. However, just a few minutes later, she kept standing up and sitting back down. Over time, she then began to move around her seat causing Mrs. G to tell her, "Please sit down." This continues for some time as Bryn's classmates are presenting their book reports. Eventually, Mrs. G makes Bryn to go next for her presentation. During the presentations, one could notice the distraction of Bryn standing up and down in her seat, as well as the shifting and moving of her body while at her chair. This caused a distraction to the other students sitting on the floor while they trying to pay attention to their classmates' presentations.

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