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Fieldnotes 3/30

sidsiddiqui's picture
  1. Today the kids talked to me a little bit more. One girl was extremely surprised when I knew her name. Another student remembered my name, which I was surprised about, especially since one of the teachers in the classroom still doesn't know my name (she called me Jocelyn and Cedric)?????
  2. I think there were more kids in the class today then I had ever seen and the mess they made while playing was huge. It also seemed a little disorganized which I was surprised to see, since the other times I had been there it was pretty well organized.
  3. I saw again the hierarchical  thing that I saw once in the classroom. Three of the girls were playing with these toy chains and the one girl (Cara) started creating a long chain to hang off her shirt. The other two girls copied her exactly, up to what color link she was using. Cara kept saying that she was going to use a certain color and the two girls would respond "me too" almost right away.
  4. After a little while of playing in the classroom, a new teacher came in with some new things. She taught the class a little about habitats and bugs.
  5. The class then went outside to hunt for bugs. They caught them and put them in little paper cups and looked at them through a magnifying glass. Cara again started to have a few issues with sharing, as she would grab one of the bugs and stare at them for a longer period of time then was allowed.  Afterwards, they set them free and went back inside.


  1. I was finding my name game to be a little frustrating. I understand that I only see these kids once a week, but I've told them and the teachers multiple times that they can just call me Sid (which I think is an easy name to remember and use) but they still aren't getting a hang of it. I was especially surprised when one of the teachers kept calling me the wrong name, even after I had corrected her multiple times. I still feel a little out of place in the classroom, and its hard for me to connect with either the teachers or the students so I feel I'm not engaging that well.
  2. It was really chaotic today. In terms of both how rough the kids were playing- I think three kids cried today- and the mess they made. I thought it was weird since the other times the teachers had been keeping it pretty under control. Although, many kids did get reprimanded, more so then I had experienced in the past couple weeks.
  3. I find it problematic that a few of these girls tend to hang off of Cara, listening to her every word and playing every game that she wants to play. The teachers do say a few things like "maybe we can decide what we want on our own" but it isn't really followed up with. The girls keep copying one another.
  4. I found it strange that a whole different teacher came in to teach this class science after having two teachers, an aid, and me already there. Two weeks ago, one of the teachers who was already there taught the science class. I also just felt that there was so much privilege in being able to have many different kinds of teachers around 4 year olds. Although, going back to that point that was made in class discussion earlier- we're always critiquing the fact that the teacher to student ratio is huge, so why do I feel the need to critique it when it isn't?
  5. The kids had a lot of fun with the bugs but I'm really not a bug person so I was having a bit of a hard time engaging with this activity. They kept showing me millipedes and centipedes and I couldn't really handle it. Cara again had a bit of a rough time playing fair with the other kids, but one of the teachers made sure to reprimand her for it. Overall though, the class was pretty entertaining and informative. I learned a little about bugs too which I didn't necessarily want to know but you learn something new every day.  


Mmacdougall's picture

So I found out during my filed visit today that the official policy is that activities are free range, unless it seems one of the students "can't handle it" or they are setting a bad example for the younger class. 

I think I really struggle with this, especially coming from a background of working with organizations that would never stand for a rule like that. I think this is really tied into all of the privelage that abounds at this school (like we talked about in class the other day). Like, if kids in a less resourced school did some of these things, there would be so many problems, but these kids get away with it because there are enough staff people around that they can gague when things have supposedly "gone too far." 

jzhou's picture

It's interesting to see what kind of "hierachy" you saw in the classroom. From what I learned from psychology class that when humans like somebody, they will mimic what the person is doing. However, I still think the students should explore what they like and come up with their own ideas to promote their creativity and independent thinking. I think it would be better that the teacher could help them to cooperate with Cara in this game, so each of them will take different roles and contribute their own ideas into the game playing.