Comic Strip Assignment ED100 – Ayanna Lyons

This comic exhibits the time when I was in Mrs. Reese’s classroom where the students were instructed to pair with two-three other students to read a dialogue fluently to Mrs. Reese and I. After Mrs. Reese and I had a conversation about how the activity went for the students. Mrs. Reese asked, “How was the students doing in your group?” I said, “They were doing good for the most part. There were some words that they stumbled over but they would use a sounding out method to say the word.” Then she said, “Oh that’s good! I’ve been really trying to work with them with their reading skills and comprehension.”  I followed up with, “Yes, I see that they are still struggling with some things but they were very motivated to try to figure out certain words. Also, I see that they like to help each other out as well.” When I visited for another time in Mrs. Reese’s class, the students had to create a summary of the book Stone Fox but it had to be creative. We both worked with different groups to help them create what they were going to do for their summaries. It could have been a rap, a song, a dance or a play, etc. After each group or some individual students performed, Mrs. Reese asked me what I thought about the activity? I told her that I thought the activity was really good and that I loved how her activities are engaging and interactive. She said, “Yes, I try to stray away from teaching out of the textbooks as much as I can. Also, I know that these activities really help the students learn something versus worksheets, etc. I try to collaborate with the students in activities as well.” I told Mrs. Reese agreed and I literally just learned something similar. It’s called a ‘problem posing’ approach to learning. Mrs. Reese was intrigued that I made this connection! She then followed by saying. “Absolutely, each and every day I plan my lessons to be a problem-posing environment for the students.” I said, “Wow that is amazing.” Learned and analysed from freire2013banking, the problem-posing approach to education is an equal opportunity given to teachers and students. Which is a collaboration between teachers and students to produce a successful outcome. As mentioned previously, the idea of the problem-posing approach is very important to highlight which is evident in Mrs. Reese’s class. Whereas problem-posing involves students and teachers working together instead of the teacher doing all of the work and the student has no say whatsoever in their education. In Mrs. Reese’s class just following the clear example of the students being able to use their creativity to demonstrate a summary is using the problem-posing approach. Also, Mrs. Reese being a guide for the students to assist in their needs and wants with their thoughts and ideas for the activity is a problem-posing approach. 
This comic displays when I was at my field placement in Mrs. Reese’s third-grade class. This time while I was there, I was examining the poster boards that were on the walls and also paying close attention to the seating arrangements. The seating arrangement of the classroom is set up with the desks in groups. Also, there is a round table in the back of the classroom where groups of students can sit with the teacher or instructor. Other activities that Mrs. Reese incorporates in her class involves the students being able to sit on a piece of carpet while learning. In my head, while I was making this observation I thought about how engaging this classroom is for the students. There are many posters evident around the classroom while also being pleasant to the eye. While I was observing the many posters around the room, I was very intrigued by the colors of these posters and their content. There was one poster that said, “3rd-grade wall of fame”: While we all are striving to be better writers, it is important to acknowledge that everyone is at different stages in their writing. However, everyone’s successes should be celebrated regardless of their standpoint” (Mrs. Reese’s poster). When I read this poster I was instantly amazed by the content. I loved how Mrs. Reese is spreading positivity and giving students the opportunity to feel successful. Additionally, allowing for the students to feel good about themselves and their work correlates to a positive community and it also promotes more motivational learning as well. While discussing the idea of promoting positivity, a sense of community, and success for the students, it brings to mind the reading in the book The New Teacher Book: Finding purpose, balance, and hope during your first years in the classroom called 12 Suggestions for New Teachers by Larry Miller. Larry gives 12 different suggestions for new teachers to incorporate into their teaching—as they are new teachers trying to find a way that works for their students. The sixth suggestion that he gives is to build students’ confidence in their intelligence and creativity. He recognizes that everyone learns in different ways. Therefore, he finds daily examples of students’ work to talk about as intelligent and smart. He gives repeated examples of the unique work and views presented by the students which builds the students’ confidence just like what Mrs. Reese does with her poster board in her classroom.
This comic is shown when I was at my field placement in Mrs. Reese’s third-grade class. During this time, it was an hour before the students in her class have ‘Fun Friday’. Before the class had ‘Fun Friday’, she wanted the class to read a chapter in the book called Stone Fox. She asked the class to give me a brief summary of the book Stone Fox since I haven’t read or heard anything about the book. Before she wanted the students to give me a brief summary, she showed them a rap video about how to formulate short summaries. Also, she wrote on the board “Who, what, when, where, and why to give the students something to keep in mind while trying to figure out what summary they were going to say. Then, she told them that if they could give me a clear brief summary of the chapters that they read so far that everyone would receive a treat! They were instructed to write down on a piece of paper if needed during the time limit that they were given to think with a partner about what they were going to say. The students were very excited to tell me what their summaries were. I didn’t include this part in the comic but, at first, the students were giving long summaries with lots of details and I couldn’t grasp anything that they were saying. However, once a few more students went and gave me a specific clear summary I was able to recite what I was told by several students. Once I was told the class what I heard back from them, Mrs. Reese said that it was correct. Everyone began to cheer in excitement immediately after. I wasn’t able to include all of the students from the class in my comic but I did involve two of the students who were very enthusiastic to tell me their summary. This field observation connects with the work we’ve been doing in class by demonstrating the importance of having a communal learning experience. The students helped one another and wanted their other classmates to succeed along with them. Which most likely stemmed from the classroom being a community environment. According to the reading Creating Community Out of Chaos, They need a learning community where they feel safe to risk and dare and even fail. There is no shortcut to making that happen” (Linda Christensen). This learning community is demonstrated in Mrs. Reese’s class where everyone is trying their best to reach a common goal and along the way each student is helping each other out. Also, while not being afraid to take risks because it is a community, no one makes others feel uncomfortable or unwanted in their learning. Even though some students couldn’t tell me a brief summary of the book, others in the classroom helped them to try to figure out what to take out of their summary in order to make it shorter. 

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