Secondary Field Notes #2 Inference

Secondary Field Notes #2 Inference - Alex Fafara Permission...

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Alex Fafara Permission to do 3 Observations at 4 hours each. Field Observation #2 Feelings/Inference The teacher is very serious about the students’ having a good breakfast, or at least any breakfast at all that isn’t pure soda. It’s a fact that it helps kids focus, and it’s not something most teachers take into account, or can control. She told me in private that the district hasn’t made Adequate Yearly Progress in 5 years, and that causes the state to withhold funding. If they are fortunate enough to achieve the AYP, then they will need to improve every year. She also tells me that in this school, Special Education is integrated, and even though state law requires that they be taught at their level, should they learn at a grade level below their age level. However they will still be given the 6 th grade standardized tests. They are, “Set up to fail,” as she puts it. This shows to me how much she cares about the students, and her goal to do her best to educate the students, no matter the obstacles put against her. In Kohn’s article, “Punished by Rewards,” it begins by showing how students are often given rewards as incentive or motivation to do well. “It is not realistic to expect students to develop motivations to learn in the classroom,” (p.143). Rather than using rewards to form a “get good grades and you’ll earn a prize” classroom, Kohn states, “At any age, rewards are less effective than intrinsic motivation for promoting effective learning (p.144). This shows us that these 6 th graders who are a part of special education, tested at a 6 th grade level when taught at a fourth grade level, will never do well, precisely because no matter what a teacher does for them, they can’t get them to care, and the students aren’t feeling motivated themselves if they view themselves as less intelligent than others. It is a losing battle, one that can’t be won until the state allows these students to be tested at the level in which they are taught. Questions How many times has this teacher felt it necessary to feed breakfast to her students? She seemed to know exactly what to get, and where, so does this happen often? Do the students not have breakfast because the family can’t afford it, or because the parents don’t care enough to buy it or make it? From the students’ perspectives, does this small act of care, this tiny snack of crackers influence the rest of their day? This is my second morning here, and both times we have reviewed the packet for the class trip coming up in June. Will this be brought up every week as a means for motivation? Next Steps
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For the next lesson, I would begin by reviewing the tests, taking note personally of which students seem to need the most help. We would then have a class wide question and answer session about regrouping, how it is done, and when it is needed. Following that, we would do a retention activity, much like the one used today where the students chose a side of the room to stand on in order to answer the question (we’ve even done this over
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Secondary Field Notes #2 Inference - Alex Fafara Permission...

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