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First Field Post

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Christine Calderon


Field Post #1

Notes for first visit Friday 25th, 2013:

I was planning on just having a meeting with Ms. Teller but found myself being introduced to the principal along with the 4th grade students I will be working with. The first day at the Madison Elementary[1] was a bit impromptu but the students where very welcoming. I should say that I have been to this placement before my sophomore year for special education in a pull out classroom as well as last semester in an ELL classroom. I enjoyed both times at this elementary school although I was placed here twice I still have yet to be in a regular classroom. I am excited to continue in the same school especially since there are students in this current classroom that where also in special education and ELL this has now given me a better standing point. A lot of the students recognize me as they were filling in the classroom.

Any who, the first day at Madison Elementary I was introduced to Ms. Teller[2] the 4th grade teacher. Ms. Teller has been teaching for about 3 years here in Madison Elementary. She let me know that she follows the curriculum provided by the school rather closely but still adds in her own things or omits. I gathered the sense that she stuck very close to it because of the tests the students have to take, that are actually coming up. When we got to her classroom she showed me the giant book that held the curriculum she also gave me a quick tour of the classroom. The students then began to file in at 9 am.  Some of the students looked at me with curiosity other students, ones I also recognized, smiled and some waved. They began their day by pulling out their spelling homework and pulled out their warm-up word math problem and began working on it with their teachers sign. Ms. Teller let me know that this is their routine for every Friday, as well as a spelling test that they quickly review on Thursdays and have homework the night before the test. I noticed two students in particular who where out of their seats and standing, Ms. Teller was quick to notice as well and told them to sit back down.

Ms. Teller told the students to gather up in a circle in order to introduce themselves as well as myself. They went around in a circle and told me their name and what they liked about school. Some of the students where very verbal and other where very shy and I could barley hear them. There were two students that where still learning English and being that I am bilingual the teacher and some of the students let them know that they could speak to me in Spanish. I am hoping that those students could feel more confident with me since they have another form of communication.  The other students who where also ELL with me freely spoke and seemed more comfortable. After introductions they went back to their desks to work on a packet that helped prepare them for the state test. Through our meeting earlier MS. Teller and I figured that the best schedule would be coming in Thursday and Fridays since it works best with my schedule. Unfortunately although I would have liked to work on math with these students they do not do math until after lunch so I am now going to work with two reading groups to help them move up to proficient.  I will have two groups of 4 one is proficient and the other is bellow proficient. After introduction to the groups I will be working with I helped proctor spelling tests for the ELL students. Two of which did really well and one who still needs a bit more help. After the spelling tests I was introduced to the new special education teacher who comes in and meets with 4-5 students and goes over certain activities. Although this was just my first day I already gained so much experience and knowledge about a classroom environment as well as how these students work with each other and the teacher.

[1] I will start using different names to hold anonymity for the school.

[2] The teachers’ names where also changed


ccalderon's picture

Field notes #2

Christine Calderon


Field Post #2

Further notes for first visit Friday 25th, 2013:

Like in my previous post I am in a 4th grade classroom. However, in this post I would like to further my first visit to the elementary school. I decided to go over the set of  the classroom. The classroom is set up a little like this:









Students desks

















                      Guided reading table



The desks do seem to be a bit crowded. When asked about set teacher said she preferred the way it was before in rows but decided to change it to try and get some space in the back. This set up mademe wonder about how much of an impact it has on the students. Although this class from what I saw the first day didn’t have major behavioral issues it didn’t have that open feel to it. I am curious to see what other observations can be made about the classroom set up and the effect it has on the students.