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Field Notes Visit 6

rbp13's picture



Friday, 1-3:30 p.m. (Match 1, 2013)


Diego has been out for 4 days and Wendy is not here either


Cross-visitation with classmate observing my placement


When we arrived, the class was in the middle of a math test (the two of us sat in the back and observed-my partner and I discussed the class and I gave her a little information on some of the students)


At the end of the math tests, Mrs. D came over and explained her plan for the rest of the afternoon. The schedule was a little different than normal because a guest from the DA’s office was coming in to read to the class.

I got the impression that this is something that happens each year. There were several visitors in the building, and it seemed that they were each going to read to a class.

Mrs. D explained that during reading she wanted to split the class up into three groups (as usual) with each of us taking a group. For the first time, I was placed with the middle group (La, Ca, Ja, Le, Ra, Jo). She planned that we would continue focusing on the setting of stories. To model finding the setting, she asked us each to choose a book (I picked If You Give a Moose a Muffin), read it to the group, and discuss the setting with them. She then wanted the groups to break up into their reading partners, and for each pair to read a Dr. Suess book (today is Dr. Suess’s birthday) and find the setting(s).

When Mrs. D told me that I would be working with the middle group, I had an interesting moment where I realized that I wasn’t really sure who those students were. This was a blatant example of how the “average” students are sometimes lost in a classroom; they are not being challenged as the high-level students are, but they also do not need as much help as the low-level students.

My cross-visit partner was given the highest reading group. Mrs. D explained to her that one of the boys that would be in her group, Justin, had been having a difficult day. He often has behavior issues and Mrs. D acknowledges that she is hard on him. Today, she asked my cross-visit partner to be gentle with him because she had been especially strict earlier.


When the guest reader from the D.A. arrived (Mrs. O), Ms. D explained to the class what her job is. “Say I commit a crime…”, she said.

I appreciated that Mrs. D used herself as an example rather than one of her students. I’m not sure why this stood out to me. Maybe I’m especially sensitive to this considering that many people stereotype this population of students. Regardless, I liked that Mrs. D was also conscious of this.

When she was introducing her, Mrs. D asked Mrs. O if she is a “Ms.” or “Mrs.” She then asked the class how to spell “Mrs.” “Capital M, period, r, period, s, period”


As Mrs. O is reading Green Eggs and Ham, Kaia points out that she missed a page. Mrs. D responds, “She didn’t but that’s good thinking.”


While Mrs. O read the book the class was very quiet and respectful. Every student was looking at Mrs. O and no one was talking to the other children.  


During the story Mrs. D made a comment to me about how she has noticed that Andrew has started rocking back and forth all the time when he is sitting.

He had lead poisoning as an infant.

Mrs. D had the class identify all the rhyming words in Green Eggs and Ham.


When Mrs. O left, we split into reading groups. The groups of La and Ca and Le and Ja had no trouble reading cooperatively and identifying the settings of their books. When these groups were done, I just had them switch books and do the activity again. Ra and Jo were struggling. In part I think this was because their book was a little longer and more creative, which made it difficult to read. Ra was also not cooperating. She would pause before almost every word she read, as if she was waiting for me to tell her the answer, which made it difficult for her and her partner to understand the story. She also made a comment about being dyslexic.

I asked Mrs. D if Ra has trouble reading and if she is actually dyslexic as she had said, and she said no; her hesitation is just to get attention.

Le and Ja were reading together so well; they were literally reading in unison.