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The Mystice Knights of Silverfish

Sasha De La Cruz's picture

Sasha Post #3: Green Table Stop Talking!

            It is Dr. Seuss’ birthday and I walked into the first grade classroom right when they were about to finish reading Dr. Seuss’ classic: The Cat in the Hat. I walk in and sit where I usually do, at this small table on the side and wait for the teacher to finish reading. Ones the book is done, Mrs. B hands out a worksheet for classwork. The sheet had a picture of a red box and the students were to write sentences of what would be in their own red box (in light of the book they just read). That week, Mrs. B was teaching the students on description, and how to use descriptive words when describing objects. For this activity not only did the students have to say what would be in their box, they had to describe the items as well. Seeing that Mrs. B did not have any specific plans for me, I thought it would be productive for me to sit at a table and assist the students writing and making sure they remembered to describe things.

Jerome K. Jerome's picture

Reflection Number Three

Reflection Number Three - Projects, Science, and Collaboration in the Mathematics Classroom

dcenteio's picture

“Third Reflection”

I am placed in a 4K classroom at a charter school in inner city Philadelphia. 4K means the children are around four years old, which implies that they are pre- kindergarteners. At this point I have visited my site four times and each time we have a very similar afternoon schedule.

I immediately appreciated the acknowledgement of my presence every visit, by Mr. White and his students. My first visit he introduced me to the class and told the children, “Ms. Deborah is studying to be a teacher like Mr. White, and when Ms. Deborah comes to visit on Wednesdays you must listen to Ms. Deborah, exactly how you would to Mr. White and Ms. S”. He then had me introduced myself to the class, which was kind of awkward because I had never introduced myself to twenty-six four-year olds before. I have the ability to interact with the children, allow them permission to do things, and discipline them as well. Although, I prefer minor discipline, such as, asking them to stop undesirable behaviors, in which I just like to remind them of what they should be doing instead of punishing the undesirable ones. When I get there they are just waking from their naps and go straight into independent reading sitting in their table groups. After independent reading the kids go downstairs to gym, then back upstairs to a large group story, which leads to an arts and crafts activity, ending with packing up and going home. Mr. White usually asks me to read the class, the last story of the day before we pack up to go home which I really enjoy as well.

Swetha's picture

Reflection #3

In my placement at a Middle School in an 8th-grade science classroom, I am struck by the amount of disengagement the teacher, Mrs. Lampe has with the subject material. It seems as though she is merely running through lesson plans to get her class from one assessment to the next. As my role in the classroom is strictly an observer by district policy, I have been able to critique Mrs. Lampe’s approaches to teaching in the two classes I observe. While I see the how the lesson evolves as she teaches it a second time, I also am able to notice her apathy towards the material, and how her students might perceive this lack of interest a pass for themselves to not care about their learning. I am aware that there might be an underlying system to the class that I am not seeing, but as an observer who cannot participate in the class, I can only see the actions of Mrs. Lampe and the reactions of the students, and vice versa.

eshim's picture

Field Placement Post 3

At the W school, I had sat through two class periods where the students, 7th and 8th grades, were watching a film on the Salem Witch trials. It was a documentary that attempted to uncover the mysteries behind the series of odd events that happened so long ago, through science and psychological tests. While watching the film, I noticed that the teacher paused the movie several times to reiterate what was said to make sure all the students were paying attention. What was interesting and commendable about her teaching strategy during this section was that she constantly reminded the students that these townspeople of historical Salem were not “crazy” or “stupid”.

For young middle school students, it is easy to judge people as simply “crazy”. Both the film and the teacher’s lesson for the day was to justify what went wrong in the town of Salem, reminding the students that there is an explanation for how this idea of a witch came to haunt the town. This open mindedness helped students understand the reasons behind the Salem witch-hunt and gradually students began a discussion on their own experiences of instances when they thought they were being haunted because of a series of odd events around them. It was a short discussion but I enjoyed hearing how students did not think the townspeople of Salem were merely “crazy”. This lesson to share experiences and digging deeper into the Salem mystery relates back to the importance of experience that Dewey writes about.

Sasha De La Cruz's picture

Post #2

            A couple of days ago we had an intense conversation in one of my classrooms debating whether or not Ebonics should be included in school curriculum. A couple of students argued that it would be okay to allow Ebonics in high school, but it should not continue to happen in college. They argued that the “real world” consists of Standard English and that education should be based on this type of English. This conversation made me think about Dewey’s statement, “the main purpose or objective is to prepare the young for the future responsibilities and for success in life, by means of acquisition of the organized bodies of information and prepared forms of skill, which comprehend the material of the instruction”. This quote makes me think about the fact that everyone has different definition and vision of success

dcenteio's picture

Paper 2

“In every society, there are ways of being locked out. Race, gender, or beauty can serve as the dividing point as easily as being sighted or blind. In every society, it takes many people--- both disablers and their disabled--- to get that job done” (McDermott, 4).

Ray McDermott’s article, “Culture as a Disability” emphasizes interesting and valid points that present society with an alternative meaning behind the word disabled. In various cultures, including American culture, disabled individuals are shunned from everyday interactions. At young ages, disabled people are segregated in educational systems, occupational settings, and home interactions.

Common sense allows that persons unable to handle a difficult problem can be labeled "disabled" (McDermott, 1).

Many unknowing citizens confuse the term disability with the term inability. Because it may be a challenging task to teach or problem some concept to grasp does not mean there is an inability to learn. Withholding the perception that disabled people are not of value to society is not only negative but it is detrimental to the success of the disabled and the advancement of society as a whole. McDermott’s quote above expresses the limitations society presses upon its citizens and challenges us to fight the oppression in order to establish a free, safe, inclusive, and equal nation.

Jerome K. Jerome's picture

Paper #2

Looking toward my Field Placement with an Eye on Lareau

Annette Lareau analyzes the role of social factors in a child’s upbringing, but the main focus is social class. The crux of her argument is that middle class children have more “cultural capital” as a result of their class and the concerted cultivation method of upbringing that Lareau asserts is a defining feature of a middle class upbringing. As I head into my field placement, I wonder how Lareau’s study will rear its head in my experiences and observations. How present will class distinctions be at the Smith High School? What role will race play and how will the uncertainties that come with the issue of race be addressed by the school? Using Lareau’s lens, how much cultural capital do I think these students are attaining--or not attaining?

eshim's picture

Post #2: Culture

McDermott and Varenne define culture as a term “that is generally taken to gloss the well-bound containers of coherence that mark off different kinds of people living in their various ways, each kind separated from the others by a particular version of coherence, a particular way of making sense and meaning,” (325). Reading McDermott and Varenne’s article on culture, and focusing on the wording of how they defined culture in the beginning--by emphasizing on "separating" people and identifying differences in one another-- I am curious as to how their perspectives would apply in the setting of my field placement at a school with students who have learning differences, as they call it.

Swetha's picture

Reflection Paper #2

    After reading Freire’s perspective on teaching and learning, and their relationship and dichotomies, I think it is fair to say that he has offered the reader a romanticized and idealistic version of a classroom and the dynamic that exists between teachers and students. He also presents a fairly isolated view of the classroom, only slightly taking into account the background and family lives of students. This highly contrasts to the writing of McDermott & Varenne, seeing how there is not as much of an insistence on the importance of the individual, but rather the teaching methodologies and practices in and around the classroom. He is much more optimistic about the future; a quote that stuck with me in relation to this was,”I am not angry with people who think pessimistically. But I am sad because for me they have lost their place in history” (Freire 26). I struggle to put this in context of his argument for critical thinking in the classroom and critical analysis of teaching by teachers. It seems a little contradictory to me that he is so anti-pessimistic, yet looks for criticism. I do not mean to equate pessimism and criticism, but being blindly optimistic about the future does not leave much room for critical thinking, whether constructive or not.

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