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Sharaai's picture

Make up post for 4/16

During this week, Ms. Morrow was beginning to work on more life skills, rather than the standardized tests she had been forced to focus on for a long period of time. When I was observing her during this process, I realized that I never thought about these life skills as something that a teacher would have to dedicate time to.

Personally, I always found it to be something you learn as you go through the cycles of life but for these students, they may never be given the opportunity to learn how to fill out various different application forms. 

What I found most interesting about this activity was how Ms. Morrow’s plan in a small span of time. Initially, she was having her group of four students, whom are all on the same or similar reading levels, doing the forms. As she was going over the forms with them she decided to have all of her students fill out these “fake” applications.

One of the biggest objectives of this activity was to see if the students could follow the different directions on different forms and formats asking for the same information.  In an attempt to make them be more independent about it, Ms. Morrow decided to walk away from them and allow them to do it on their own. This decision lasted about 30 seconds, which really shows a lot about her as a teacher and as someone who cares for her students.

Sharaai's picture

Ch. 1 news

The last time I went to my placement, the students were watching channel 1 news and there was a big focus on the current news with North Korea. Though sometimes this new channel simplifies the news it covers, I felt like they were being really good about not oversimplifying this topic. It was really interesting to see how one student in particular was completely enthralled with it. From my previous conversations with Ms. Morrow, I knew that he had an interest in history but it was cool to see how this could be seen with just how he sat or his repetitive movements stopped because he was so attentive. I was even impressed when he knew answers to questions about North Korea that were not mentioned in the news clip.

I often wish I could see what is going on in the students’ minds since they are so non-vocal. One can see the “gears clicking” when you sit back and observe but I want to know more but I don’t think there is way to do that unless the student was incredibly comfortable with you. But even then, the students don’t say much to Ms. Morrow whom they have known for a long period of time. 

Sharaai's picture

First day back from Spring Break; (make up for 4/3/13)

Last Tuesday was the first day I was back at my placement after my students had their spring break. I had not seen them in over a week and I was excited to be back. 

This day, while the students did their independent work, they all worked on test. All of the students seemed to be focused on their test. Some were looking at their paper, some looked around every once in a while (which isn’t unexpected for some students). They all sat quietly which Ms. Morrow worked one on one with students on reading in the back of the room.

Sharaai's picture

Focus on one

At my last visit, I decided to focus on one specific student. Since I have a small class, focusing on one student would not very difficult.

This day, I chose to focus on Carson. He is a very quite student, whim rarely speaks out unless spoken to. The first thing I noticed was his different repetitive actions. These actions vary between students with autism and I always like to see what different students do. Their motions really reflect upon them. For instance, Carson is very quiet and timid. When he is sitting at his desk, he tends to rub his hands together or shake his foot. Sometimes he alternates between the two and he switches often. He also plays with a writing utensil. When Ms. Morrow was doing her morning coverage of the news, every time she would ask a question, his movement would pause. As soon as he would recite the answer, he woiuld go back to his preferred movement. Carson often just mumbles the answer to himself. One of the things he’s working on is communicating and using his voice. Most times, he has the answer, he just needs to be conscious of how he says it. Ms. Morrow often has to remind him to open up his mouth and talk clearly. When she understands his answer, he nods at her and goes back to his movement.

jcb2013's picture

Math: Learning about money as a life skill and as part of the curriculum

Tuesday 3/19/13:

            During the second half of the day the subject that we focused on was math.  In particular we worked on identifying and understanding money values.  This lesson was interesting to me because it is an example of not only an important part of kindergarten curriculum, but it is also an important life skill.

            The lesson began with Ms. L displayed a chart on the white board labeling the name of the coin, and it’s value on the board.  The students sat in a circle, and were each given replica play money that was similar in size and color to real money.  Ms. L also gave students magnifying glasses so they could observe the details of the coins.

                        I really liked this lesson because of its relevance to everyday life.  This is reflective of skills that children need to have as they get older, both within the classroom, and outside of the classroom.  I also liked the lesson because it was very hands on.  It allowed to the students to examine the money up close, and allowed for them to make draw their own conclusions on questions posed.

rbp13's picture

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.


hl13's picture

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.

rbp13's picture

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)


rbp13's picture

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.

rbp13's picture

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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