Saturday, June 7, 2014

Field Work Reflections

Field Work Reflections

For field work I chose to work with a second grade teacher.  For the purpose of my fieldwork report, I shall refer to her as Mrs. A

Interview with a teacher:

1.    What effective teaching principles do you follow to reach every child in your classroom?

The teacher that I worked with for fieldwork uses the responsive classroom model in her classroom.  Together, the students and her build a community in which learning can take place in a safe and comfortable environment.  They start each morning with a morning meeting, where there is a sharing of experiences, classroom discussions on important topics and songs.  The teacher indicated that getting to know her students first as individuals helps her to reach all of their needs academically, socially, and emotionally.

2.    What latest research are you referring to in your teaching design?

Mrs. A indicated that she follows the NYS Common Core Standards in her classroom.  She has read about and attended many workshops about ELA and math to ensure that the standards are being maintained in her class.  Additionally, she uses a reader’s workshop and writer’s workshop model in her class to engage her students in supplemental reading and writing activities.  She also still uses the Harcourt reading series.  In the reading and writing workshops the students are able to practice their reading and writing skills in a practical and enjoyable way.

3.    In what way does research on effective teaching empower your continued learning process?

Mrs. A indicated that she continually looks for workshops to attend to continue her learning process as a teacher through the mid Hudson teacher’s center or BOCES.  She also reads articles about new practices, especially responsive classroom ideas, discipline, and common core information.  She notes that it is important for teachers to receive continuing education on effect teaching methods in order to help all students.  

Observe a classroom and discuss with the teacher how he or she is using the child development characteristics in his or her lesson planning and teaching.  

In Mrs. A’s classroom she is a strong believe in allowing children to learn through plan and to work in small groups.  She has centers in which the children can work together to learn from one another and develop socially through interactions with their peers.  She also follows differentiated instruction as she bases her reading groups according to the student’s needs so she can better reach each student in her classroom.  Mrs. A also models to her students what is expected of them and provides examples so each student has a chance to see what is expected and ask questions for clarification. 

Interview three to five people asking them to name three characteristics of intelligent people. 

Check out my powerpoint presentation to see the four different people's thoughts on intelligence!  


Observe the classroom paying attention to the individual needs of the students.
Mrs. A pays attention to the individual needs of her students.  There is a child in her class who has ADHD and he gets a one-to-one during test taking to help him stay focused and on task.  She also has some students in her classroom who attend resource room for additional help in math.  Mrs. A also checks the in class work for some student who struggle.  She helps them to see their mistakes in the work and how to correct it and come to the right answer.  In this way, she is able to see who needs more help to master a topic.

Observe a classroom paying attention to the diverse learners in the classroom and how the teacher accommodates their learning during the lesson.

Mrs. A uses differentiated instruction to make sure she reaches each one of her students.  The reading groups are composed on students who are at the same need.  This way, she can work more with the groups that need additional help, but can also challenge the groups who are more advanced.  She also has different expectations for the work that is completed.  During mathematics, there is a push in TA who works with some of the lower students to help them grasp the concepts.  She also provides programs on the computer, such as IXcel, as enrichment activities for those students who are more advanced in their learning. 

Observe a classroom and not each time an incident of learning occurs.
I observed an incident of learning in Mrs. A’s class.  This incident was not one of academics, but of personal development.  Mrs. A uses a type of token economy system in which children are rewarded for good behavior and for completed extra homework assignments.  One little girl would take two coupons each time she was instructed to get one coupon.  When it came time to hand in her sheet with the coupons attached, she had the most out of the whole class.  Mrs. A spoke with the little girl and asked her how this could be.  She explained that if you are honest with yourself it will make you feel better.  The little girl eventually confessed that she had been taking two tokens each time she was instructed to take one.  This was an incident in learning about stealing and honesty.  Mrs. A discussed with the little girl why this behavior was wrong.  

Observe a classroom and note if and how a teacher uses reinforcement (positive/negative) and if he or she uses punishment.  

Mrs. A gives a lot of praise in her classroom for good behavior.  She also has a few behavioral techniques that she utilizes.  First, the class as a whole has a marble jar.  They can get a marble for having good behavior as a class.  If they get 25 marbles, they can vote on a party to have or a movie to watch.  

Mrs. A also uses Lee Canters Assertive Discipline system.  This is a system for good behavior.  There is calendar for each month and a child is able to add a coupon to their calendar for good behavior and doing extra homework.  At the end of the month, Mrs. A averages out the number of coupons and those students with that amount or more are able to pick prize from the toy box.  

Mrs. A also has a system for negative behavior.  She as a card system in which the first card is a warning, the second is a warning, the third is a letter home, and the fourth is a trip to the principal’s office.  The card system gets reset each day so at the end of teach day the child starts with a clean slate.

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