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Fieldnotes #3

sully04's picture

Attached are my fieldnotes from the week of 2/27!

fieldnote3.docx133.55 KB


sully04's picture

cross visitation notes

 my notes from visiting a kindergarten classroom with a peer.


“What were your questions going into the experience, and how did the cross-visitation address those questions or not?”




Kindergarten Class

I am struck by the number of decorations, posters, student work, etc. on the walls of the classroom. The room is so busy and there is so much to look at. There are 5 different tables, each with a morning activity for free time- a sandbox, magnetic blocks, painting, a puzzle, and Legos. I know that at my placement, this would be way too overwhelming for the students. All of the color and business of the room would over-stimulate. The rooms at my placement are decorated, but not to this extent.

For 11 kindergarten students, there are 2 main teachers, one teacher aid, and two observers. This is closer than I thought to the number of teachers in the classrooms at my placement- we have usually a one-to one teacher/student ratio. I tried to observe if this number of teachers were necessary at the kindergarten. At my placement, I don’t think classes would be able to function without the major supports. Yet, in this context, it seems like a privilege that they have so many teachers to give attention to the students.

 Each day, when the kindergartners are in circle time, three students are asked to share something that happened to them in the last day. Each student is expected to share once a week. They tell a story and finish by saying “I’m ready for questions and comments.” Then, three students ask them questions of their story. If they aren’t sure what to share, they can go in the corner of the room with one of the teachers to talk about some things that they could share. (In a classroom with only one teacher, this would never be possible).

This story time is helping to facilitate respectful listening/conversation, and being able to speak and share appropriately in public. (besides making each child feel special). My school has similar values and goals for their students- trying to teach better social skills. They spend much more time on these skills.

The class splits up into 3 groups for centers. At Hannah’s center, students read a poem with rhyming words all together, then have to write out and spell “I like to eat hot ____” “I like to eat cold ____” They work on thinking of an idea, writing and spelling it out. Most students need help with the spelling but some can spell well all by themselves. Some students get distracted and play with each other- something rarely seen at my school because they do not interact with peers as much.


At Mrs. J’s table, students were reading a short book together, and at Mrs. D’s table, students were working on letters. These activities seen similar to what I do with Mrs. K in “language arts” time. We also work on reading short books with this type of vocabulary and some students are good at sounding out words on their own. The biggest difference is that the kindergartners are much younger than the students who are learning to read at my school.


Going into the visit, I was interested in teacher professionalism: how do teachers interact with one another and how do they interact with students?

            -much of the vocab in speaking to students was the same “are we making good choices or bad choices” “hands to self”

            -teachers interacted with each other in a similar casual way- maybe it is because I am seeing ‘the other side’ of teachers/school environment that I am taken aback that teachers ‘are people too.’


What did I learn about classrooms for students with special needs?

            It’s hard to compare because such a range of needs being served in the classrooms.

Overall, attention for individual students (especially at this young age) seems important.

I wonder what Hannah thinks about the different classrooms and their treatment of special needs. I would like some more impact because I am having trouble comparing such vastly different schools (in terms of student population and need).