Observation # 4


The school that I am volunteering is Marcy Open School, which is a K-8th grade school.  I have done 65 hours of observation in a second grade classroom. During these past three months, I got the opportunity to know each of the students and work with them. I have worked with three children during math. I get to help with their word problems and how they could go be good critical thinkers. I have seen that these students are struggling on doing subtraction problems because they think that every problem that they get will be addition. I have showed them how to use the fact family and how useful it can be using those strategies when doing subtraction problems. It is very nice working with these students and see them progress during these past month I have been on Marcy.

Classroom as Sites for Confronting Privileges, Changing the World:

In the world problems that students have been working these past weeks I could see that there is identity and society. In the world problems she uses her students names and how many each student would get and how many were taken away. For example she would say, Malu got _____ pencils and she gave her brother ______ pencils. How many does she have left? 13.20 26,40,48.60 30,70 (students choose the numbers they want to work with and show their work by using different kinds of strategies).  Her objectives are that students get to use appropriate numbers and know how to show their work. Also they get to know how to do subtraction problems. Another lesson plan that Tiffany taught in her classroom on Veterans Day, she talked about the U.S. flag and the U.S. president.  First she read a book to students that talked about President Obama and students go to know some of his life. Then she went on her SMART board where she asked student who was the president of the united states, what are his role and other questions that got students engaged and wanting to learn more about the U.S. president. She showed the students what is the pledge of alliance and how we had to show respect when doing the pledge facing the U.S. flag.


Ensure that all children gain access to “basic skills”- The conventions and the strategies that are essential to success in American Society:

An example that I have seen in Tiffany’s class is that she teaches her students different strategies to solve word problems. She uses the number line, counting on, going back wards by tens on the hundreds chart, fact family. She tries to uses those strategies so her second graders can choose any way that will be easier for them to use and be able to solve the word problems. Sometimes she asks them to write an addition fact from the fact family and write an equation that show which number is greater or less. It will help the students learn new things and when she checks their work she sees if they are struggling with something and what she should focus more so the students would understand it.

Recognize and build on children’s strengths:

An example is that when her students are struggling in their subtraction problems she tries to group them with children that are good with math. It would help the student get help from their partner and show what strategies they have used. It builds relationship among each student and they get the opportunity to share to the class. The teacher picks randomly from the stack of papers and share it with the class and ask the student to show the class how they solved they equation. It is very nice seeing how students share their work and build different strength on math each time.

Lingering Thoughts/Questions:

I don’t really have any concerns about how Tiffany is teaching math to her students. Instead I would say that she is a great teacher and has great communication with students, parents, staff and volunteers. Her classroom is very nice and the second graders are great students.

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