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Field Notes Visit 8



Monday, March 18, 1-3:30


When I arrived, the class was talking about money in math. As a class, they were working on a problem where they had to come up with multiple ways to make 50 cents.

e.g. QQ, DDDDD

When Mrs. D asked them to come up with a third way, T said NND, NND, NN. Mrs. D asked her to explain how she got her answer. T had a little trouble explaining her thinking in words (“Because, because um it makes 10”), but was able to describe, with prompting from Mrs. D that two nickels makes 10 and dimes are each 10.


Today, Mrs. D had me take the majority of the class during the second part of the math lesson and she worked with only the students that are still having trouble understanding money. As a group, we did problems from the textbook.


During the lesson, I focused on calling on every student and hearing from each child that wanted to speak equally.


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Field Notes Visit 7



Monday, 1-3:30 p.m. (March 4, 2013)


When I arrived, the class was working on skip-counting by ones, fives, and tens. Mrs. D explained to the class that this is a helpful skill to count money and tell time.

I like that Mrs. D explains how skills are relevant beyond the classroom.

After Mrs. D teaches the whole class lesson, the students are given a worksheet to practice skip-counting. To accommodate differences in ability, Mrs. D gave the kids the option to count by fives or tens.


Mrs. D gives step-by-step directions for how she wants the students to do the worksheet. The first thing that she tells them to do is just write “fives” or “tens” in the space at the top (so she will know what they were intending to do when she checks them later)


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Field Notes Visit 6



Friday, 1-3:30 p.m. (Match 1, 2013)


Diego has been out for 4 days and Wendy is not here either


Cross-visitation with classmate observing my placement


When we arrived, the class was in the middle of a math test (the two of us sat in the back and observed-my partner and I discussed the class and I gave her a little information on some of the students)


At the end of the math tests, Mrs. D came over and explained her plan for the rest of the afternoon. The schedule was a little different than normal because a guest from the DA’s office was coming in to read to the class.

I got the impression that this is something that happens each year. There were several visitors in the building, and it seemed that they were each going to read to a class.

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Cross-Visit Field Notes



8-10 a.m., Thursday (February 28, 2013)


Public high school in Philadelphia


Special needs classroom, 9 students were in the room when we arrived (my partner explained that there was usually another student in the class who was always late because he walked slowly)

I chose to do my cross-visit with the classmate that is placed at this school because the question that I want to focus on is: How does a single teacher effectively accommodate the needs of all of her students? This includes presenting information in a way that is accessible to the majority of her students and keeping students engaged throughout the lesson. I was also curious how a teacher consistently checks for understanding in all of her students.

Ms. O was the main teacher


When my partner and I arrived, there were already 3 adults in the room.

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Field Notes Visit 5



Monday, 1-3:30 p.m.


“How many fewer?” (today the class was subtracting 3-digit numbers by regrouping)


Today, when Mrs. Dolly broke the class into two groups for math, she gave me the group that doesn’t need much help (this was a larger group than I usually work with)


When Mrs. Dolly called on him to give an answer, Diego mumbled. She asked him twice to repeat himself and then moved onto Tina (she knows that he can speak loudly because he is always talking when he shouldn’t be)  

Interesting lesson-I like the way that she explained this two Diego, and that she addressed him again after moving onto Tina. I think it is important that he understand that he needs to stop talking when he shouldn’t be, but I’m glad that she related this lesson back to his behavior in class.

Double regrouping in 3-digit subtraction problems very difficult for these kids

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Field Notes Visit 4



Friday, 1-3:30 p.m.


When I arrived during math, the class was working on solving story problems


The problem the class was working on was a multiple choice story problem (this is the format that they will see on standardized tests)


3 steps to solving problems:

  1. What do I need to find? (look at the question)
  2. Find information that you need
  3. Solve-pick a strategy


These steps were written on the board and when Mrs. Dolly gave me a group of students to work with she said that this was the format that I should follow when framing questions


Important to remind students to underline important information in the problem

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Guided Reflection, Field Notes 2/15

What Happened? 

When I arrived at my field placement last Friday, the class was just finishing a math lesson on solving two-step stroy problems involving subtraction and addition. As is their routine, after the class was finished with the lesson, they played a math game independently. Today's game was called "Spin-and-Add"-Each student was given a spinner with a series of three-digit numbers, and they were supposed to spin the needle and add the first two numbers that it landed on. My cooperating teacher, Mrs. Dolly, asked me to work with two stundents, Wendy and Joel, both of whom do not have the "number sense" that their peers do. Their spinners were only numbered 1 through 9. For Wendy and Joel the goal of "Spin-and-Add" was to practice "counting on" using their fingers. 

Although I was working with both students, I found myself having to focus primarily on Wendy. Although Joel occasionally had trouble understanding that each finger he put up corresponded to one number, it seemed that he began to realize the process the more that he practiced. In contrast, Wendy did not seem to be understanding at all. She could add numbers that totaled less than 10, but struggled with anything that required more than two hands to visualize. For instance, on one of her spins, Wendy got a 4 and a 7. Our conversation was as follows,

Me: "So what two numbers are we adding?"

Wendy: "4 and 7."

Me: "What is 4+7?"

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Field Notes Visit 3



1-3:30 p.m. Friday


Mariah is not there. Her desk is back in the row (no longer separated). Apparently she was having a tooth pulled this morning, but when her mother came to pick her up, the principal spoke to her about not having Mariah come back-she lives outside the district and they have been struggling to get her out of the class for a while because she is a distraction to the other students.


Andrew and Dominique are out sick today


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Field Notes Visit 2



1-3:30 p.m., Monday


Mrs. Dolly told me during my last visit that there would be a substitute teacher today-Mrs. Dolly would be in the building but she was taking care of other business (she said that she would be back at the end of the day)

I was curious to see how the class behaved with a different teacher. Mrs. Dolly is very strict and expects things to be done a certain way; she has high expectations and the class knows that there are consequences for misbehaving. I wondered if they would be out of control with the sub because I doubted that she could enforce the same rules that Mrs. Dolly does.

Mrs. Dolly forgot to tell the sub that I was coming-I did not want to be in her way or interfere with her plans so I told her that I could just observe if that was easier


Class was excited to see me when I arrived


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Field Notes, Week 1



1-3:30   p.m., Monday


Last   semester, for the Curriculum and Pedagogy course, I was placed in this   classroom so I already know the routine and have established relationships   with the students


Returning   to the same field site after a significant break allowed me to observe the   classroom from a slightly different perspective and I noticed things that I   was not particularly conscious of last semester. (e.g. at the front of the   room, right below the whiteboard, is a sign with the bathroom procedures-1 finger   up means drink of water and 2 fingers up means bathroom)

Although   I noticed this sign last semester, I did not realize the significance of   where it is placed. By hanging it by the whiteboard, right next to where the   teacher stands and where the students should presumably be looking, the   teacher eliminates the possibility that students will say they did not know   the rules.

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