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mschoyer's picture

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


mschoyer's picture

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.”

Laura H's picture

Field Notes 4/17

Field Notes 4/17- Ms. R 11th grade American History, Mr. T 10th grade English

Today in my field placement I noticed the different teaching styles of Ms. R and Mr. T. They are very similar in they way they plan their lessons, because they are based around Tech Prep’s core values (inquiry, research, collaboration, presentation, reflection). The assignments are often very open-ended and push students to think critically and be creative (I could do a whole post about the actual projects themselves). However, it seems my two teachers have approached this type of project-based curriculum in different ways.

dshu's picture

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.”

mschoyer's picture

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


mschoyer's picture

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


Elementary School 1 

Laura H's picture

Field notes 3/19/13


Ms. R 11th grade American History

Mr. T 10th grade English

Today Ms. R seems a little more stern than usual. While she is still joking around and not being “mean” in any way, she raises her voice to get the students attention at the beginning of class and tells them to put their “lids down” (referring to their laptops). She begins reviewing what the class accomplished yesterday, and shows a list on the smartboard comparing individual needs/interests in the environment versus business needs/interests in the environment. She says, “I feel like you guys didn’t get the most out of that activity, so we are going to try something else. I’m giving you three prompts: “I notice..” “I wonder..” and “What if?” and you have to look at this chart and fill in those sentences. So for example, I went to New York this weekend, and I noticed that M&Ms sold in Times Square were more expensive than those sold in the regular stores at home. I wondered why they would charge more and if other people noticed this price change. What if they donated the difference in that cost to a charity or non-profit organization?”

Laura H's picture

Cross-Visit Field Notes (from 3/1/13)

Field Notes- 3/1/13 


Today I went joined Jomaira at Stonewood High School. She is working this semester with the Mayor’s new college access initiative, and is gathering information about various schools in the city and their college programs. She tells me that they are looking for a neighborhood school in a low-income community with high college access rates, but that has been hard to find. So far she has noticed that many of the college programs are separate or extra features of the school, but they are not implicit in the curriculum or culture. Additionally, Jomaira tells me that some schools have multiple programs that overlap or do not communicate with one another, because they have grants or funding coming from a variety of sources.

We enter the massive doors to Stonewood High School and there is only about foot between us a metal detector. We put our bags through and sign in with the security officer. The building is classic and beautiful inside, and clearly has history. We are told to go up to the Student Success Center to meet with Alisha, the manager of the center. We walk into the center, which is also a computer lab. I notice a few students waiting to use the computers. Alisha takes us to a separate office to talk. I typed up the main points of our conversation in bullet point form because I talked about them more in depth in my cross-visit paper (and I also did field notes for my placement this same week so these were a little more brief).

ccalderon's picture

bad apples

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.  Finally, you could consider these questions on a specific, classroom- or school-based level or more systemically, depending on your site.

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