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Week 5 Field Notes

Mmacdougall's picture

Week 5 (4/11)


The class got crickets today. The students had decorated a habitat for them, and this morning they want outside to gather some branches and stones to include in the habitat. Jamie went outside to put the crickets in the habitat so that the students would not see that some of them had died. Carly brought in a game to share with the class today. She taught Jamie and most of the girls in the class how to play and they played for a significant portion of free playtime. The boys were playing a spaceship/boobytrap game in the block room. James and Nick were playing with saws; James said he was going to “saw off” Nick’s leg. Kendra told James that they could not play games in which harm was done to other friend’s bodies. Victor tried to join in the boobytrap game by adding links onto the chain that surrounded the block configuration. Nick got upset, because that was not what the group working on the boobytrap game had been working on. However, Victor, who speaks only Spanish, did not understand why they were upset. Denise directed the boys to try to read Victor’s face and body language rather than needing to use words to recognize that Victor felt sad and left out. Amanda came in to translate to give Victor an easier time. After play time, the class read a book that Nick had brought in from home and voted on whether or not they wanted to add that book to the classroom library, because Nick’s mom had offered to donate it.

So What

I was impressed by the way that Denise stepped in and talked to the boys in the class about playing with Victor, even though they could not communicate using words. I found a connection with my thesis, in part of which I am analyzing (older) children’s responses to the questions “what are some situations in which you need to communicate with someone, but cannot use words” and “how could you communicate with someone if you couldn’t use words.” Denise, rather than using the school’s usual prodding the students in the direction of the behavior the teachers want to see, asked the students to do something specific to help their relationship with Victor.

Now What

I am not sure that this particular incident will affect the way that I interact with the students in the classroom, since Denise is an aide and occasionally does not fit with the school’s overall philosophy. However, I was impressed that she took such a direct and explicit stance on how the students should be behaving. I plan to continue observing the interaction between Victor and the other students, with a focus on their attempts at communication. 


jgu's picture

In my placement, I also notice some "silent" communication between students. Though they are not expressed in words, but I can notice they both understand each other. I also want to focus more on the relatiosionship between students and learn more about them. 

jzhou's picture

I am interested in the idea that we may refer to body languages and facial experession as instruments of listening. I have talked about how to listen to young children in my paper. This might be another way of listening. This also reminds me of Kupper's book. When the choreography is presented in a twisted way in which peopel experess themselves. how do we listen or emphasize with their feelings?