# Blogs

## Math: Learning about money as a life skill and as part of the curriculum

Tuesday 3/19/13:

During the second half of the day the subject that we focused on was math.  In particular we worked on identifying and understanding money values.  This lesson was interesting to me because it is an example of not only an important part of kindergarten curriculum, but it is also an important life skill.

The lesson began with Ms. L displayed a chart on the white board labeling the name of the coin, and it’s value on the board.  The students sat in a circle, and were each given replica play money that was similar in size and color to real money.  Ms. L also gave students magnifying glasses so they could observe the details of the coins.

I really liked this lesson because of its relevance to everyday life.  This is reflective of skills that children need to have as they get older, both within the classroom, and outside of the classroom.  I also liked the lesson because it was very hands on.  It allowed to the students to examine the money up close, and allowed for them to make draw their own conclusions on questions posed.

## Field Notes 7- 3/20/13. Prioritizing the needs of all learners- can it be done?

3/20/13

Elementary School 1

## standardized tests and stress on teachers

I'm facebook friends with my former high school teacher and got a kick out of a poem she wrote refering to the  test students in Massachusetts have to pass to graduate from high school:

Twas the night before MCAS in the city of sin

And I'm stressing bout how my kids will begin

Will they restate the prompt and not overquote?

Will they slow down and brainstorm with copious notes?

Will they stick to the prompt and not go off track?

Will their proctors allow them to have a light snack?

Will they not fall asleep when they read something boring?

Will they remember the rubrics and methods of scoring?!

I guess now's the time to just let them go...

And forget all the days that we've missed due to snow

They'll tell me I've forced it, they'll say I'm mad dry

But if they get 2s then Miss surely will cry

I'm going to bed praying for 4s they will write

Happy MCAS to all and to all a goodnight!

## Journal Entries

Hey guys I've been really bad at posting entries.. Sorry I'll post them here and you all can chose which, if any to comment on. =)

Journal Entry 5

In class we split up into journal groups and created checkpoints for teachers to assess student’s learning processes. We decided these as key points in creating a productive learning environment

## Field Notes Visit 8

 Observation Analysis Monday, March 18, 1-3:30 When I arrived, the class was talking about money in math. As a class, they were working on a problem where they had to come up with multiple ways to make 50 cents. e.g. QQ, DDDDD When Mrs. D asked them to come up with a third way, T said NND, NND, NN. Mrs. D asked her to explain how she got her answer. T had a little trouble explaining her thinking in words (“Because, because um it makes 10”), but was able to describe, with prompting from Mrs. D that two nickels makes 10 and dimes are each 10. Today, Mrs. D had me take the majority of the class during the second part of the math lesson and she worked with only the students that are still having trouble understanding money. As a group, we did problems from the textbook. During the lesson, I focused on calling on every student and hearing from each child that wanted to speak equally.

## The Discourse of Clothing and the Myth of the uniform Uniform

Instead of my usual placement this week I was treated to a special morning.  This week, the middle schoolers get to choose to participate in a three-day enriching seminar-style learning experience.  The topics vary but I was able to observe the basketball option (“Hoops and Dreams”) as that’s what my supervising teacher was assisting with.  The girls (all in different grades) were able to come to school in out of uniform, athletic clothes since they would be playing basketball every afternoon in addition to watching basketball films and documentaries and games every morning.  When we got down to the court and the girls began to take off their heavier sweatshirts and sweatpants (in favor of their tank-top style shirts and shorter shorts) I was immediately blown away by how there seemed to be three distinct discourses of clothing.  One group of girls who congregated together all wore Lululemon shorts, headbands, and tanks.  They weren’t all the same style, but they were all the same brand, and the girls, even though they weren’t all friends and were in different grades, automatically congregated together as the coach divided them up into teams.  Another group of girls that congregated together were the girls that were all on the middle school varsity basketball team.  These girls (from diverse backgrounds, some of whom were students of color) wore basketball-specific athletica clothing (longer, mesh shorts and tanks).  A third group of girls that congregated together wore miscellaneous “athletic” outfits.

## Field Placement Post 3

At the W school, I had sat through two class periods where the students, 7th and 8th grades, were watching a film on the Salem Witch trials. It was a documentary that attempted to uncover the mysteries behind the series of odd events that happened so long ago, through science and psychological tests. While watching the film, I noticed that the teacher paused the movie several times to reiterate what was said to make sure all the students were paying attention. What was interesting and commendable about her teaching strategy during this section was that she constantly reminded the students that these townspeople of historical Salem were not “crazy” or “stupid”.

For young middle school students, it is easy to judge people as simply “crazy”. Both the film and the teacher’s lesson for the day was to justify what went wrong in the town of Salem, reminding the students that there is an explanation for how this idea of a witch came to haunt the town. This open mindedness helped students understand the reasons behind the Salem witch-hunt and gradually students began a discussion on their own experiences of instances when they thought they were being haunted because of a series of odd events around them. It was a short discussion but I enjoyed hearing how students did not think the townspeople of Salem were merely “crazy”. This lesson to share experiences and digging deeper into the Salem mystery relates back to the importance of experience that Dewey writes about.