Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Field Notes Day Two-- 2/24

Miranda's picture


Today, since it is raining, recess is inside. About half of the class is making airplanes out of legos, while others are playing with playdough or magnetic blocks. I sat down at a table with playdough and started rolling it into balls to build a snowman. Kevin and Robby were making balls and flat discs, and we talked about what foods we like and what we don’t like. They asked me to come play with blocks with them, and we went to build a castle out of blocks. 

For lunch, I joined Ms. S, Kevin, Sammy, John, and Andy for “lunch bunch.” During lunch bunch, Ms. S has lunch with a few students and works on conversational skills. Today, she has the four boys go around the circle and talk about each of their siblings, and ask each other questions about what they’re eating for lunch. This turns into a conversation about food, and the students all talk about their favorite foods and about protein, which they learned about during a speech class. When Sammy starts to talk about one of the posters on the wall, Ms. S reminds him that the conversation is not about the poster right now, and asks him to pay attention to Kevin, who is talking about what he has for lunch.

After lunch, I got to talk about the Fieldwork Agreement with Ms. S, and we decided on a few things to focus on for the rest of the placement.



It’s fascinating to see how carefully playtime is regulated by the adults in the classroom.

Transitions, which can often be very difficult for Kindergarteners, are handled by establishing a routine for each one. Every time the class moves to a new classroom, they line up by the door. When they go to music, they all sing a song that goes, “rise and shine and welcome to music class!” In order to make sure that students don’t get bored or restless, transitions happen fairly frequently. Ms. S says that the students have three recesses: fifteen minutes in the morning, thirty minutes right before lunch, and fifteen minutes in the afternoon.



After talking over the Fieldwork Agreement with Ms. S, we decided that my “small move” is going to be joining lunch bunch every Wednesday, and eventually leading a few of them. Over the next few weeks, I’ll observe how Ms. S leads lunch bunch: the type of questions she asks, how she handles distractions or contributions from the students that are rude or disruptive, and how she structures the time. I’ll also pay close attention to the answers the students give, so that I can ask them specific follow-up questions; for example, John has a little sister named Margaret who just turned two, Sam likes to play soccer with his dad, and Andy’s recently went to Florida.

While going over the Fieldwork Agreement, we also talked about the ways that students in the class interact with each other. Ms. S said that she focuses on teaching kindness to all of her students, and wants to make sure that they all know how to interact with each other. I’m going to focus on helping students to engage with each other productively, especially Sammy and Danny.


alesnick's picture

It sounds like in many ways you were integrated into the classroom -- by being invited to play and by being offered a role for the "small move."  Yay!  I'm also struck at how routines can be empowering for kids -- all of us?