Field Experience Assignment 3
Fostering and Analyzing Children’s Problem-Solving Techniques and Abilities
(Approximately 2 field hours)
Plan and conduct your fieldwork assignment as follows:
Step One: Planning
· Review pertinent resources. Before you talk with your Host Teacher, review the section of the course text on cognitive development and problem solving (pp. 294–306).
· Create an activity: Develop an age-appropriate problem-solving activity that one child can participate in at a time. You might find or draw a picture that illustrates a problem that children can relate to (e.g., a cat stuck in a tree and three children watching; a child locked out of his house; a child about to be in danger—car coming, ball rolls in the street—while other children are watching). Or, set up a situation (e.g., you might explain to the child that you need him/her to set up snack for four children, and you have three cups and seven cookies).
· Work with your Host Teacher. Ask your Host Teacher to identify three children he/she believes would enjoy participating in a one-on-one problem-solving experience with you and who have varying cognitive abilities. Explain that you will be presenting a problem for the children to solve individually, recording their problem-solving techniques, and then doing a comparison of their cognitive approaches. Offer to share your results with your Host Teacher.
Note: Again, remember that you are working with children for just a “slice in time.” Children may be influenced by a variety of factors, including being tired, hungry, and not knowing you well. Try to remain objective and not make assumptions, and ask your Host Teacher to help you understand any background information he/she thinks would be pertinent to this experience.
· Schedule a time to work with the children. Ask your Host Teacher to help you identify a workspace in the classroom.
· Review the Problem-Solving Evaluation Sheet. Print out at least three copies to take with you to the school.
Step Two: Implementation
· Work with each child.
o Bring one of the children to your workspace.
o Introduce yourself, even if the teacher has already done so, and explain that you have a problem and you are very interested in learning how he/she would solve it.
o Show the child the situation and ask him/her to express the problem in his/her own words. (Typical preschoolers can usually recognize problems but differ in their ability to solve them. Children who have disabilities or are at high risk may be challenged at recognizing what the problem is.)
o Ask the child what he/she thinks should happen to solve the problem.
o Determine if the child can come up with a solution on his/her own or needs a bit of help from you.
o When the child solves the problem, invite him/her to come up with other solutions.
o Invite the child to share any comments about the process/experience and be sure to thank the child for his/her participation.
o Record all of the child’s solutions and comments without judgment.
o Fill out the Problem-Solving Evaluation Sheet for that child before proceeding to the next child. (If you don’t have time to fill out the entire sheet in between children, be sure to jot down clear and complete notes you can use to complete the sheets later.)
Step Three: Reflection
Write at least 2 pages responding to the following questions:
· What did you learn about children’s expressive language and critical and creative thinking?
· How did what you learned affirm or conflict with what you learned from the course text?
· What differences did you notice among the children you worked with? How might these differences reflect their developmental stages?
· What further questions would you raise or what additional information would you need before you reach any conclusions about the children you worked with?
· What suggestions do you have for appropriate ways to foster continued growth in each of the children you worked with?
· How might what you learned from the experience enhance your ability to work with children in inclusive settings?
For this assignment:
· Submit a summary of the Problem-Solving Evaluation Sheets. Include at least 2 paragraphs on each child detailing what you learned about the child’s thinking and language abilities. Also submit your reflection, as detailed above.
· When writing about your field experiences, do not use actual names of students.
· At the conclusion of your classroom visit, have your Host Teacher sign off on your Field Hours Time Sheet.
Use the following Evaluation Criteria to guide your successful completion of this assignment.
|Due By (Pacific Time)||03/17/2013 01:00 pm|
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