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Fieldwork post 1

hl13's picture

In working at a kindergarten, I do literacy activities with small groups of students each morning revolving around a short poem or song. These are notes (based on recollection) are from three groups of ten minutes each, with three or four students:

This week's poem is "The old woman who lived in a shoe". The activity on the lesson plan, which I can change, invovled something that I knew would make the kids too silly and would not be helpful, so I skipped to the next day's activity, a type which is normally more successful. As always, we read the poem together (with me reading each line first if the group is not yet reading). With some groups, it takes a lot of time to get started because the students are acting in a silly way: usually several of the same students, although today was a good day for two of those. The reading goes unexpectedly well for the second group, as this is usually where it's most difficult to get started. 

For the next activity, I ask children to get up and point to "sight words", which are short 2-4 letter common words that they learn in another center and are a frequesnt general part of their classwork (words are like: she, it, a, and, etc). Everyone enjoys this because they are good at it, although the group who reads well gets confused because other common words they read are not sight words (has is not a sight word, but as is, etc.). In one instance, a I suggest to a boy who goes last and picked a word that was already chosen by another student to look for "she", and he makes a face and says he doesn't want to. Because I have heard in the past him talk about "girl colors" and things involving girls generally in a bad tone, I decide to make him look for she and tell him very directly that this is not okay. 

The final activity involved moving pieces on a felt board and having each student act out the poem. This is always something they enjoy, though it's difficult to keep the other students from talking, playing, and not paying attention when it itsn't their turn at the felt board. Today it went well for most students, although a few had trouble with "being silly," something which I don't know how to express in another way. I don't think "being silly" is bad at all; the students are playing and have not yet learned how to behave in the way the teachers expect them to.

**Sorry this is pretty long! Also I'm not sure exactly about the format of this (it feel like I just wrote this post to the group and I'm not sure that's correct)