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Field Notes Visit 5

rbp13's picture



Monday, 1-3:30 p.m.


“How many fewer?” (today the class was subtracting 3-digit numbers by regrouping)


Today, when Mrs. Dolly broke the class into two groups for math, she gave me the group that doesn’t need much help (this was a larger group than I usually work with)


When Mrs. Dolly called on him to give an answer, Diego mumbled. She asked him twice to repeat himself and then moved onto Tina (she knows that he can speak loudly because he is always talking when he shouldn’t be)  

Interesting lesson-I like the way that she explained this two Diego, and that she addressed him again after moving onto Tina. I think it is important that he understand that he needs to stop talking when he shouldn’t be, but I’m glad that she related this lesson back to his behavior in class.

Double regrouping in 3-digit subtraction problems very difficult for these kids


Mrs. Dolly had to send June back to her seat (she was not listening to me)


In my group, a lot of kids were working ahead even though I told them not to)

What do I do about this?-I don’t want them to work ahead because it means they aren’t paying attention to me, but I also don’t want to hold kids back

During the lesson, I had to ask a lot of kids if they would behave the way they were if Mrs. Dolly was teaching the lesson


Diego and Vinny were talking a lot (Diego didn’t hear my questions or other students’ answers-I asked him why he didn’t hear what I said and he started telling me how to do the problem. Mrs. Dolly intervened and told him that that wasn’t what I asked)

At first when Diego started giving me the answer to the problem rather than telling me why he hadn’t heard my question (he was talking to Vinny), I thought that he didn’t understand what I was asking him. However, when Mrs. Dolly got involved, Diego said it was because he was talking instead of paying attention. Since I didn’t understand that he was clearly avoiding my question, I wonder how to be more conscious of this in the future. How can I tell that kids are trying to take advantage of the fact that I’m a new teacher?


This series of situations in which students were not listening and I felt like I was doing everything within my power as a student-teacher to keep them under control, was very frustrating. Largely, I was having a difficult time managing the group because I still consider myself a visitor in someone else’s class. As a student-teacher, I have to operate within the established discipline procedures of the class, which is a bit awkward. These experiences also make me rethink that way that I will handle punishment and reward in my classroom.

Before reading, Mrs. Dolly let the class do a “Brain Waker Upper”-mingling (all the students walk around the room and then Mrs Dolly says “get into groups of 3” for example-anyone that doesn’t have a group is out). To make the game more difficult, Mrs. Dolly added a rule-if any group had too many people, that whole group would be out (Mrs. Dolly was encouraging the students to use their words. “We need one more” or “We have too many”).


When Mrs. Dolly wanted the class to return to their seats after the game, she used the clapping call and response.

I am beginning to question the efficiency of this strategy because it seems that teachers always need to do it at least twice. If it worked on the first try, then it would be great, but if kids are used to not listening the first time, what is the point?

When the students were walking from their desks to the rug for reading, they were too noisy. Mrs. Dolly said, “Folks, do you want me to make you sit down and try again?”

It is important to consider the age of students when you think about how to punish them. For instance, first and second graders are at an age where they want to be treated like older kids. Having to try walking from their desks again is a punishment for younger students and something that second graders won’t want to do.

When I was reading with a group of students, several of them asked if they could get a drink of water.

The rule in their classroom is that you may not get water or go to the bathroom when the teacher is teaching you. When I have my own classroom, I want to have very specific rules about these things as well because students often abuse these privileges as a way to get out of class. I will not be too flexible in terms of these rules because, based on the way that the students act around me, I know that this flexibility creates chaos.

The spelling words for this week are –ea words (short –e sound): head, bread, heavy, steady, sweat, thread, breath, meant, health


When Mrs. Dolly told the class that health was one of the words, she told them that that is written on the door of the nurse’s office or “Health Suite”. Mrs. Dolly then took the time to explain the difference between “suite” and “sweet”. She said that a “suite” is like a room and that she will be staying in one when she goes on a cruise over spring break.

I like that Mrs. Dolly tells her students about her personal life. This makes her seem more human.

Diego was wearing his track medals around his neck (they were distracting him so Mrs. Dolly took them away)


The class started a new story in the Storytown book. Mrs. Dolly introduces it by saying “Let’s meet our new story.”


The new story was called “Annie’s Gift” and the objective for the day was to identify the setting (Mrs. Dolly defined this to the class as time and place. She says that the class has to pay attention to this to understand the story).


Mrs. Dolly: “Do any of you have brothers, sisters, or cousins who are really good at something? Who have talents?”; “Turn to a partner and talk about a gift that you might have”

I like this activity because it relates the book to the students personally

June said that she is good at talking. Even though some of the students laughed, Mrs. Dolly said this really is a talent. “This will open a lot of jobs for you when you get older”


The class reads the story together, everyone at the same time


The class looks for “word clues” and “picture clues” about the setting


The class is being noisy while Mrs. Dolly was trying to read. “There are too many interruptions, I can’t work”


While I was reading with a small group, Wendy was giving me attitude. I told her that if she didn’t stop talking to Dominique, she would have to go back to her desk. I gave her three chances and on the third, I told her to go sit down. At first she pretended to cry and when that didn’t get her the attention she wanted, she sat with her arms crossed and glared at me.


Zara did not follow directions


The students in my group don’t know how to spell