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mschoyer's blog

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Field Notes 11- 4/30/13. Leaving my placement


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Field Notes 10- 4/23/13. Reflecting on Tragedy


            This week, my field notes involve an interaction my teacher and I had, as opposed to interactions with my students. On this day, I had 1st, 2nd, and Kindergarten students, and the day was pretty typical. I did a read a loud in each class, and also designed a corresponding activity. The students were all pretty well behaved, and the day was as “normal” as can be.

            At one point, when I had just finished instructing the students, my mentor teacher turned to me and whispered, “How about the Boston thing?” I saw her during the previous week right around when the bombing happened, but of course, a lot had developed since then. For example, one suspect had been killed and the other had been recently captured. I responded by stating what a tragedy it has all been, and my teacher answered back with something along the lines of, “That’s why I find it so important to make these students feel comfortable here.”

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Field Notes 9- 4/12 and 4/16. Interdisciplinary Lessons and Projects


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Field Notes 8- 4/2/13. When collaboration doesn't work


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Field Notes 7- 3/20/13. Prioritizing the needs of all learners- can it be done?


Elementary School 1 

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Field Notes 6- 3/6/13. What makes a bad apple?


  • How is the notion of some students as "bad apples" (from chapter 6 of Whatever It Takes) resonant -- or not -- in your field setting?  Who gets categorized in this way, and by whom? what are the "criteria" for this kind of label, or to put it another way, what are students labeled this way like? how they treated?
  • If this "bad apples" idea is NOT relevant to your setting, consider why not -- and what that might suggest about what's happening there.

This question is very interesting to think about in regards to my field placement. At both the Elementary Schools I am placed at, I am in a small pull-out class with anywhere from 1 to 10 students. These students come from many different backgrounds and cultures, and they also speak different languages. Until receiving this prompt, I never thought about “Bad Apples.” In my classes, each of the students is pretty well behaved. To me, a bad apple is a student who acts out often. He or she is identifiable by the rest of the students and the teacher- all would agree that the student has behavioral problems. At my placement, however, this is not the case.

     Why doesn’t my placement have a bad apple, or even more than one bad apple? Small class size might have something to do with it. Often times, and in my experience, students act out to get attention. In a class that is small and sometimes has more than one teacher (when I’m there), each student gets more attention than they do in their normal classroom.

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Field Notes 5- 2/27/13. Parental involvement and student-student relationships


Elementary School 2


I decided to use McEntee’s Guided Invidual Reflection Protocol (pg. 52) again this week, as I want to expand on one particular story.


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Field Notes 4- 2/20/13

1. Collect Stories (italicized the one I'm expanding on)

  • Third grade has a field trip coming up and the new Chinese student, Joey, brought his money but not his permission slip and he did not understand the problem (due to lack of English). Nina wanted to help the classroom teacher deal with the situation.
  • Standardized testing- testing one student with an IEP in a small classroom with another who doesn’t have an IEP. One student gets more time, extended directions, and the other doesn’t.
  • The office staff seemed extremely overwhelmed. Nina and I needed to contact the secretaries a few different times and it was either difficult, or I felt that I was inconveniencing them because they had so many other people waiting on them.
  • I was set to sit in on a meeting with my teacher and the principal and then the principal asked that the meeting be confidential. It was about Nina’s increasing course load at Elementary School 1.

2. What Happened?

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Field Notes 3- 2/13/13

Elementary School 2: 2/12/13

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Field Notes 2- 2/7/13

Sorry for the delay! I'll be posting my field notes on Wednesday nights since I go to my placement on Wednesdays.
  • Elementary school in a suburb of Philadelphia
  • Tucked into a neighborhood, surrounded by trees, grass, etc.
  • School goes from K-5th, all in one building
  • No businesses, schools, religious buildings, etc. near the school, but primarily houses
  • My placement is with Nina Smith, an English Language Learners (ELL) teacher
    • This is the second semester in a row that I am working with Nina
    • She is the ELL teacher for both Elementary Schools in the district
      • Last semester I only went to one of the Elementary Schools (Elementary 1)
      • This semester I will be doing 2 ½ hours/week at each school
        • The schools are in the same district and similar communities- how will they be different?
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