Fieldwork Journal #2
This fieldwork reflection is from 4-11-13. Every day when we arrive at the classroom, they are ready to begin their reading block. In these reading blocks they have a couple of mini lessons followed by time to write, work on what they just talked about, or work with their Concordia teachers. The main focus of these mini lessons for the past couple of weeks has been the literary elements, particularly in Cinderella. Ms. Christensen has more than 25 different versions of Cinderella around the room, from all different parts of the world. They have been working on finding commonalities and differences between the stories, using Venn diagrams and other concept maps like this. The couple they recently read were the Caribbean, Ojibwe, and Irish versions. There is also a map of the world, and they are working on making symbols for each story they read and placing it on the corresponding location on the map.
Ms. Christensen mentioned to us that they were studying literary elements and story maps, so she was encouraging us to work with the kids further on this subject. I taught a lesson from my mini unit to my small group based on the literary elements they have been talking about. I decided to read a story that kind of reminded me of a fairy tale, and would be easy for them to follow along and retell. I chose Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini. The two girls I worked with today aren’t the ones I am using for my case study, but they also struggle with comprehension. I’ll call them Abby and Deanna.
After I read the story, we went through again and started to build our story map. At first, they seemed a little confused. I think they just didn’t want to do it. Once I started asking some probing questions to get them started, they warmed up to it a bit and seemed to understand more. What really surprised me was after we completed our maps and I asked them to close the book and turn over their map. I asked what they could tell me about the story without looking. Strangely, they remembered many details, some of them seemed very minute. I was very pleased with their answers, and I think constructing the story map really helped.
I was a little upset that Natalie didn’t get to work with me today. She was working with one of the specialists, so I didn’t really see her much until later on. We just read a book together with the other two girls. I did notice that she seems to be easily distracted by the other girls, and she certainly reads much slower than them. They were being really sweet and helping her out when she paused on a word. I think it’s going to be good to work with Natalie. She shows great room for improvement and I look forward to working with her more, preferably one on one. She seems to work better with just me. Now I learned for next time!
Attached are some picture of Abby and Deanna working on their story maps, along with some pictures of the Cinderella materials in the classroom!