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Fieldnotes Post 1

rbp13's picture

Last semester, I took Curriculum and Pedagogy (Ed 301) and did my field placement in a 2nd grade class. Because I developed a positive relationship with my cooperating teacher and really enjoyed the environment created by the school, I will be continuing my placement there this semester. This is an excerpt from the field notes that I took on my first day in the class.  

-2nd grade class

-1 to 3:30 pm

-two main periods while I am there (math and reading)

-when I arrived, my cooperating teacher immediately included me in the routine of the classroom

-first child that I worked with was Justin, a boy that my cooperating teacher described as “special” (she did not mean this to be offensive)

-Justin has motor control issues (which make it difficult for him to write), as well as speech problems

-He is not at the same level in math or writing as his peers

-in math, the students were practicing how to count (“count-on”) when numbers are in the hundreds; they were doing a worksheet that looked like:













-the worksheet went from 400 to 500 and the objective was to have the students fill in the missing numbers

-the strategy that the students were supposed to be using was to cover up the first number, count as if it wasn’t there, and put it back on at the end

-Justin was having a lot of trouble with this; he was having trouble understanding the strategy (did not seem to understand that covering up the 4 was just a strategy to simplify the problem; he also does not know the multiples of 10 past 20 (when we would count up to 29, for instance, he did not know that 30 was next)

-I had to scaffold (re-explain the process) to find each number (e.g. “Cover up the 4. Now what number comes after 23? What do we have to put back on the front?”)

-by the end of the sheet, Justin was able to get some of the numbers by himself (he was very excited about this, which made me happy!)

-when we finished the worksheet, Justin and I played a math game (the game was like tic-tac-toe, but you would put your chip on the number of your choice, and then you had to construct that number using rods and cubes; each rod was equal to 10 cubes)

Playing this game with Justin helped me to understand what it means to have different expectations for different students. For example, if the number that Justin chose was over 10, he wouldn’t always use the rod to represent the number, sometimes he just counted out that many cubes. Other times, if the number was under 10, instead of using the cubes to represent the number, he would count out that number of sticks. Although this was not the goal of the game, I thought that this was acceptable since I had just seen how much trouble he had just counting in sequence. While he was not understanding how the cubes converted to the rods, he was practicing "counting-on" which I felt was appropriate  for him for this activity.