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Field Notes March 8

Field Notes March 8, 2013

Math Lesson: Fractions

  • the class was studying equivalent fractions by working on an equivalent fractions question like a puzzle. The initial question was, which fraction is greater than the other? Teacher L would talk out the problem like he was having a conversation with his class. He did this a few times, with the next question comparing three fractions, and for the last question he asked me to say a fraction (2/5) and had the class independently write 5 equivalent fractions on their own.

  • He chose one student, T, to come to the board and write his answers and then explain how he got them to the class, just how he had explained the previous two questions

  • He continued the conversation, and waited until the end to ask students to take notes.

  • At one point during the end of the lesson, he spoke with one student, I, but directed to the larger class conversation, about how fractions are like pizzas, because his dad works at a pizza shop sometimes.

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Field Notes 3.6

  • An Excerpt from Today's Field Notes: 
  • This week I visited Hannah D.’s school, which is for children with autism. We have talked about the unique aspects of her school before, but I was struck by the reality of what she has said. There is an aide for nearly every student that I saw there, and the aides are near them at all times, physically modifying their behavior (pulling their hands away from something they should not be doing), encouraging them to participate in activities, and being there if the student needs help.
    • All of the children there are what people would say “low on the spectrum,” meaning they are low functioning and would be less successful in a typical classroom. I could observe this from their behavior, and could compare it to students I’ve worked with in the past who are “higher on the spectrum”.
  • The first place we went to was the reading specialist, Karen (the teachers call one another by first names, the students are mostly nonverbal so do not frequently address the teachers). She was working with one student, John. John was singing to himself as they worked together. The two of them were sitting very close to one another in front of a computer, their legs touching. At times, John would play with Karen’s hands or touch her to get her attention, and Karen allowed this without comment. She was asking him to spell words, starting with “go”. She gave him plenty of time, and often he would sit there for a few seconds and not respond.
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February 22 Field Notes

  • During lunch, Teacher L asked me to introduce myself and say a bit about why I would be joining them. I told them I was training at Haverford to be a teacher and wanted to learn about how to teach from their class. Then they asked me a couple of questions (will you teach here? Etc.) Then, Teacher L had each of them introduce themselves to me and say something about their selves. Students said thinks like ‘I really really really really like sports’ or ‘I am crazy about horses’. One student introduced herself to me in sign language spelling.
    • This is the best introduction to a field placement class that I’ve had so far. I really got to get a sense of each student from the beginning, and was introduced as a teacher and member of the community.
  • After the class had time for two students to share their fairy-tale projects, which were fairy tales they had written, illustrated, and bound. They first explained what the story was about, showed the cover and back with fake prizes and review quotes. (‘This story was excellent, it left me on the edge of my seat. When is the author writing a sequel?’ –Publisher’s Weekly) Then they read the story to the whole class, which was done in a friendly way with a bit of talking in the middle, and laughing with the group. (One boy said in the middle, ‘Teacher L said I couldn’t use violence, so I used cupcake blasters instead’). Afterwards, each of the two students received comments and maybe a question or two from the class, and lastly Teacher L.
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Reflective Protocol

Relfective Protocol (an incident from last week)

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Field Notes 2/11

I am not in my placement yet, but I thought I would write up some placement-like fieldnotes from my job at a kindergarten in order to participate. Here are some excepts: (as you can see, I adopted a fellow group member's style)

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Fieldwork post 1

In working at a kindergarten, I do literacy activities with small groups of students each morning revolving around a short poem or song. These are notes (based on recollection) are from three groups of ten minutes each, with three or four students:

This week's poem is "The old woman who lived in a shoe". The activity on the lesson plan, which I can change, invovled something that I knew would make the kids too silly and would not be helpful, so I skipped to the next day's activity, a type which is normally more successful. As always, we read the poem together (with me reading each line first if the group is not yet reading). With some groups, it takes a lot of time to get started because the students are acting in a silly way: usually several of the same students, although today was a good day for two of those. The reading goes unexpectedly well for the second group, as this is usually where it's most difficult to get started. 

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