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

You are here

Field notes

Earth Week

TJ von Oehsen's picture

This past week, I went to my placement at Rose only to be reminded that I was visiting class on Earth day. All week, the class had been participating in activities that included building fort out of recycled boxes and talking about the different environments that exist all around the world. When I arrived, the class began an activity involving the earth, a large painted circle with a frowny face and thermometer in its mouth, being sick and having a high temperature. The students all took turns putting bandaids on the earth with potential, “solutions” to getting the earth better written on them. The activity was framed as in a way so that the students kept their solutions very practical and remained on a more individual level.

Voice Down

TJ von Oehsen's picture

One week ago, while at my placement, I became very focused on one student in particular. Cody always gets in trouble for speaking too loudly. He is told time and time again that he has to keep his voice down while inside. Sometimes, this has to do with him speaking loudly in small groups, or out of turn, or sometimes feeling the need to scream out in excitement in frustration. However, what first drew my attention to Cody was that, even when he is making productive points or raising his hand, he is sometimes still told to lower the sound of his voice.

The Importance and Misuse of Sight Words

TJ von Oehsen's picture

Two weeks ago, I focused my attention on the usage of cite words in the Rose Kindergarten classroom. Sight words are a list of words that the teachers have written and posted on the wall of the classroom and that have extra time and emphasis devoted to student’s learning about them. During this placement, I have seen both the obvious benefits of this increased emphasis, but also the pressure, and subsequent dangers and impatience that has sometimes been spurred by this focus. Every Friday, there is special time made in the morning to read a poem of part of a song that students then search for sight words in and circle on their own individual papers.

Race in a Kindergarten Classroom

TJ von Oehsen's picture

Three weeks ago, I was placed in the upstairs classroom of the Rose Kindergarten instead of my usual class downstairs. The only difference between the classes is that the students who are taught upstairs are, I was told, “in need of a little extra help with their reading.” We spent the two hours almost solely focused on reading and writing. The main difference between the two classrooms is that the class downstairs has a counting jar that they fill every week and make estimations for the big reveal every Friday. In this event’s place was a more phonics/word based activity where a student is chosen to go and pick an object from a list of cards, puts it in the, “word box” and gives the other students three clues from which they must guess the word.

Fieldnotes 4/20

sidsiddiqui's picture

Today, the students were playing with legos, blocks, and some kids were playing bowling. A couple of them were playing house and a couple were building pinatas out of paper and tape. At first I sat with the kids who were building cars out of legos. They built police cars and made a jail out of the blocks. They kept asking the other students to be in the jail for them but didn't get many responses back. The few girls in the art room were coloring and putting together pinatas and they were coping each other again. The teacher told them they should have their own ideas but as I was listening to their conversations, they were following the same pattern. One of the girls was saying how the rainbow didn't include the color pink, and all the other girls disagreed with her and said it did.

Field Notes - 4/20/2016

smalina's picture

Yesterday, we gathered at Haverford with the artists with the intention of collecting twigs and leaves to fill our boxes. The artists arrived late, and we were all moving slowly, so it took about half an hour to gather by the duck pond. When we got there, we wandered around, checked out the skate house, watched the fish and geese, and collected interesting things we found on the ground, including sticks, seed pods, and leaves. Because not all of the artists had fit in the car, Stacie* went back to the center to pick up Valerie*. I thought it was interesting that we decided collectively not to budge until Valerie was there, not even to wander around the pond--we really wanted to wait until she got there to experience everything, because each step was an important one.

Field Notes - 4/13/2016

smalina's picture

Wednesday was a hectic day in the woodshop, as it was our last time visiting the center before our gallery at Haverford. The goal was to finish our boxes, and Carl and I were in pretty good shape compared to the other pairs, so we went ahead and got started by drilling holes into the legs of the box. After that, we had to glue in the pegs that connected the legs to the box, and then had to attach the sides of the box to the bottom by drilling holes and hammering in small wooden dowels. Because there was only one set of tools available for everyone, we had to take turns with the other pairs, and the process was stretched out over the course of the two hours. When Carl got to the room after snacktime, he greeted me loudly and excitedly, and seemed to be in good spirits.