Field Post #3
Notes for first visit Feb. Thursday 7th, 2013:
I came in with the students lined up against the wall outside of their classroom. It was nice to get friendly hellos from the students who seemed to like my presence there. When we settled down we went over the same routine as last Friday. They had Morning routine, which was to take out homework if they had any and to take out their math word problems and start working on them. While working on their problems the morning announcements came on and they stood up for the Pledge of Allegiance and they did fluoride. After their morning routine they go into reading and after reading they go into writing- these are the two classes I will be apart of on Thursdays and Fridays. Today for writing they where going to go onto the “rug” and sit around and read. They were finishing up their story of the week that had to do with inventions and inventors. When sitting in the circle it was curious that the students sat on the floor cross-legged and one of the students pulled up a chair automatically for the teacher. I found it interesting that the teacher had to sit on a chair while the students sat on the floor and looked up. Having just had read Freire this simple action spoke to me. I too pulled up chair since it seemed like the “right” thing to do. It felt odd to me but the students and teacher didn’t seem to react too much to this action.
On Fridays I work with a 2hr long class with 4-6 year olds. Usually, the weekly projects correspond to modern artists, but this week they worked with the Valentine's Day theme. There are 9 students in the class (8 girls and 1 boy), in the full age range.
During this class, something that stood out to me was Ms. A's helping the kids with many of their projects.
Cut-out hearts: fold square paper, draw half of heart, cut out along line. Some kids needed/wanted more help with this process than others. Ms. A would fold and draw for many of them, I was trying to show them how to do it by example, then see if they could do it on their own. Maybe this was a little too challenging?
Much of my experience has been with slightly older children and/or in more "educational" environments (schools and a museum that was all about educating children through creative projects). But should this placement (an art center) not be as challenging as a school? It's always still a learning experience. Also, because I am working with younger children (4-6), where is the line between encouraging challenging learning experiences and helping out with things that might be too advanced for a certain age group? Especially for young childred, there are certain developmental ages that really dictate what a child is capable of doing (i.e. scissors with the 2 yr olds).
Maybe I should read up on these stages...any suggestions?
Chapter 1 – The Big Move
Chapter 2 – Teacher Bound Upward Bound
Chapter 3 – You won’t make it to Harvard
Chapter 4 – Let’s take Harvard and Yale off Your List (They might be too far of a reach)
Chapter 5 – Education not Deportation/ Save Our Schools
Chapter 6 – Posse
Chapter 7 – So This is What Being the “Minority” in College Feels Like
Chapter 4 – Let’s take Harvard and Columbia off Your List (They might be too far of a reach)
Table of Contents
Chpt1……. A Single Mother’s Push
Chpt2…….Open Your Eyes
Chpt4…….Impact of high school & PUPP: Challenge Yourself
Chpt6…….The Shift (from the top to the bottom)
Chpt8…….Keep Moving Forward
Impact of High School & PUPP: Challenge yourself
When I read "History and Culture: Wrestling with the Traditions of American Education", one paragraph really stuck out to me. It read:
“Education is viewed as the equalizing agent in our society, and meritocracy is viewed as the path to achieve that end. According to this belief, anyone who works hard will fare well. However, the ideology of meritocracy has an underlying flaw. It does not take into account the prevalent inequalities in our society (35).”
January 29, 2013
Table of Contents of my Education
Seven Schools in Thirteen Years
I. School #1: My Montessori Education, All I remember is making bread...
II. School #2: My Co-ed Catholic Education, I am not catholic...
III. School #3: My Public Education: Too many kids in my class...
IV. School #4: My Experiencial Education: Taking Ownership of My Learning...
Standing up at the podium with a hundred people in front of my I opened my mouth to speak. I am the last of my class to speak to the audience. At this point 27 students have gone before me and I know I must try to keep the audience’s attention for just one more speech. I opened my mouth to speak my first speech in front of an audience. It was easy. I spoke about my love for people and for helping them. I spoke about making the world a better place and what I love to do. I finished the speech and was greeted by the first standing ovation of my class.
Thesis meeting: Jan. 25, 2013 (10:30am)
Sorry that these notes are a bit dense, but it was my only other academic event other than my other ed. class that occured between Thurs. and Tues.
Today, I went on a walk with ekthorp and sarahj to discuss what our plans would be to arrange the opening and closing for tomorrow’s ramble. On our way back we began discussing “the Lives of Animals” and I became really fixated on the part of Elizabeth’s speech where she brings up Sultan, who is starved until he can achieve his task. In doing so, he is being trained to focus and give importance to only one thing, and being asked to disregard all other possible thoughts or distractions. I had recently listened to this podcast that had reminded me of Sultan for another one of Anne’s classes (http://www.onbeing.org/program/last-quiet-places/4557) and it had a huge effect on my thinking. One of the things discussed in the podcast is how children are taught to direct their attention, to close themselves off to divergent and distracting thoughts. I began to see a connect here between the way we are conditioned to focus and the way in which Sultan was taught to abandon his instincts and focus only on one thing in order to achieve his task. I wondered about the way we teach children, and how often learning and play are intertwined. Most “play” moments actually serve as teaching moments, where children learn problem-solving skills, teambuilding skills, leadership skills. It doesn’t seem like children are ever just playing. However, I’m starting to wonder whether or not it is “ecologically literate” to teach and condition children to filter out divergent thinking.
During class, someone said that in Minecraft "like in SIMs, you are a person and you are creating a world" while trying to sum up the satisfying appeal to the game. I completely felt this as well while playing. There was something satisfying to being able to control my environment and decide my own course. This is a freedom I don't always have in everyday life because of time constraints, responsibilities, and money. These constraints don't exist in this game.
This comment also reminded me of a project my placement teacher did last year in his geometry class. The assignment was similar to a geometry assignment I've seen many times: design your dream house. The twist was that the class was to use google sketch-up, a google software used to make 3D models (when I worked in a blackbox theater, the set designer did his designs on this). Using sketch-up, the students would make a virtual 3D model of their (roofless) house, and then decorate it.
I could not get Minecraft to work on my computer. It was the most frustrating thing ever! After Mikah (my lovely roommate) started playing I wanted to play too and I spent about an hour trying to download all of these different things. Minecraft ended up not working and so I ended up watching Mikah "struggle". Mikah spend about a good 30 minutes trying to get wood as suggested in the youtube videos. We could not figure out how to get the wood until our friend Ashley came in and called her brother. Later that night, he called and told us exactly how to get wood. Rather than clicking over and over we realized we could just hold the clicker of the mouse down (duh?). Are we too old and out of touch? I felt that I was so lost in technology that I could not even get Minecraft to work on my computer. It's safe to say that Mikah and I have not played it since... If we incorporated this into the classroom, there would have to be a demo and the glitches on certain computer types would have to be figured out!