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Field Notes #3 Reading circle

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Christine Calderon


Field Post #3

Notes for first visit Feb. Thursday 7th, 2013:


I came in with the students lined up against the wall outside of their classroom. It was nice to get friendly hellos from the students who seemed to like my presence there. When we settled down we went over the same routine as last Friday. They had Morning routine, which was to take out homework if they had any and to take out their math word problems and start working on them. While working on their problems the morning announcements came on and they stood up for the Pledge of Allegiance and they did fluoride. After their morning routine they go into reading and after reading they go into writing- these are the two classes I will be apart of on Thursdays and Fridays. Today for writing they where going to go onto the “rug” and sit around and read. They were finishing up their story of the week that had to do with inventions and inventors. When sitting in the circle it was curious that the students sat on the floor cross-legged and one of the students pulled up a chair automatically for the teacher. I found it interesting that the teacher had to sit on a chair while the students sat on the floor and looked up. Having just had read Freire this simple action spoke to me.  I too pulled up chair since it seemed like the “right” thing to do. It felt odd to me but the students and teacher didn’t seem to react too much to this action.

After reading the story they where handed out packets from two students the teacher chose. In these packets there where the vocabulary words they where going to be tested on Friday, along with activities that corresponded with the story they just read. They where to work on it individually but the teacher gave me a group that I was going to help with the packet. These four students where really excited to get into the group which made me curious. I asked them to introduce themselves and then asked what they liked about school. They all said things that seemed to be answers they thought I wanted to hear. The students I had in this group where all different. I had one boy and three other girls- the boy, Theo, has an IEP and the three other girls where in a low reading category. When working on the packet together there was one girl in the group, Alexa, who seemed to take on a leadership role. She made it a point to check in on Theo and if he was on track and if he was writing the right answers. Theo did have the right answers and more than often got right answers 90% of the time. Meanwhile, Alexa got around 65% of the answers right and most of the time was “fishing” for answers from me. The other two students would try to figure it out on their own and I would aid them but Alexia would yell the answer whether or not it was right or not and the students would quickly right it down. I wonder how much of an emphasis there is in either independent or group activities. This also made me curious about Theo and how he is treated in the class. This time when I came his desk was separate from the other students and his desk is turn backwards with his books on the outside. Ms. Teller also let me know that she was planning on meeting with Theo’s mother and made a side comment that she has been trying to have this meeting for quit some time.