Beverly Cortez

Child Study
November 20, 2013


Tammy is a second grade student who is eight years old. Her favorite color is
purple and her favorite holiday is Easter because she loves to hunt for eggs. One of
Tammy’s favorite characters is Ruby Bridges. When I asked her why, she explained that
she likes her because she stands up for herself. I have observed Tammy from the very
first day of my field placement but paid closer attention to her on September 18, 25, 26,
October 2, 3, 16, 23, 30, 31 and November 6, 7, 14, 15, 2013.
During a normal school day, Tammy gets dropped off to school together with her
cousin Savannah. Tammy isn’t one of the students that arrive to school early enough to
be sitting outside the classroom door. She generally arrives to class ten to fifteen
minutes after my mentor teacher Mrs. Johnson has opened the door for the students at
7:30 in the morning. She is usually breathing heavily from the start as she enters the
door because she’s running, eager to come to class. From the minute Tammy sets her
foot in the classroom, she normally has this wide smile on her face and greets Mrs.
Johnson and I good morning. Tammy follows through with the class routine by grabbing
her nametag first, depositing her number stick inside the jar and placing her backpack
inside her cubby. After she has finished this task, she sits quietly at her desk, with her
hands up and planner and reading log opened ready to be check by Mrs. Johnson or
me. Even though Tammy resides from a single parent home, she always has her mom’s
signature on her planner and reading log. This action displays that her mom examines
on her schoolwork daily. As soon as she has finished with her morning business, she
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obtains her morning work under her desk and works on it until it is time to say the
Pledge of Allegiance. This shows that she meets General Learner Outcome (GLO)
number one, which is self-directed learner. During the recitation of the pledge, you can
hear Tammy’s voice towering other students’ voice but as soon as we check their
morning work, she stays reserved and doesn’t raise her hand to share her answer.
Mrs. Johnson has big expectations for all her students. She wants them to
express their curiosity and thoughts during class discussions. Tammy however barely
shares during class discussion, which worries Mrs. Johnson because she knows that
Tammy has great ideas to share. Throughout class discussions Mrs. Johnson selects
students who isn’t collaborating because she wants to hear everyone’s voice. When
Mrs. Johnson selects Tammy to share, she thinks about the question and then answers.
As far as behavior, Mrs. Johnson does not worry about Tammy because she knows that
she’s always on task so she does not have to keep a close eye on her throughout the
On Halloween day, Mrs. Johnson allowed me to perform the Pumpkin dance that
I have taught the whole class. The students were excited including Tammy. We
practiced the steps first and as soon as everybody was reminded with how the dance
goes, we performed it as a class. After that performance, I grouped the students and
allowed them to create their own Pumpkin dance where they incorporated different
moves. I noticed a great collaboration between Tammy and her group mates as they
created their own dance. Also, I noticed that Tammy took the role of being the leader.
Tammy and her group mates did a great job and her leadership also showed in their
performance when it was time to perform in front of the class.
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On November 15, 2013 Mrs. Johnson didn’t attend school because of an
emergency so we were assigned a substitute teacher to be in charged. Tammy
behaved similarly as if Mrs. Johnson was in the classroom. While the students were
completing independent work during their science block, the substitute teacher Mrs.
Yamamoto complimented Tammy’s table, “I like how table 2 are working quietly.” One of
Tammy’s classmates Daniela notified Mrs. Yamamoto “You need to put one point on the
board by the table 2.” From this, Tammy expressed her concerns to Daniela, “Mrs.
Johnson told us that you’re not supposed to tell the substitute teacher or else it doesn’t
count!” Tammy said with frustration. This showed me that Tammy is a student that
follows the rules. Aside from this specific interaction with her classmate she’s normally
sociable and helpful. For example, on the same day, Tammy noticed that Daniela took
back the pencil that she allowed Jay to borrow so Jay was left with no pencil to write
with. Tammy immediately offered Jay a pencil without him even asking her for a pencil.
This showed me that she is willing to help others. Overall, Tammy is a very friendly and
sociable person.
Tammy’s school provides a safe and positive place of learning for all their
students. During first recess, some teachers are scheduled to have yard duty. This
means that teachers have a designated area to supervise while the students are
playing. This school also created a schedule for different grade levels that is allowed to
play at certain area like the jungle gym to provide order so that it is not too crowded on
one area. During lunch and lunch recess, there are also adults that monitor the students
to guarantee that all students are behaving and creating a safe environment for
everyone. One day when I had yard duty, I noticed that Tammy and a few of her
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classmates were playing tag. She was happily running around with her classmates.
They all play safely or else there are consequences to face. In addition, the school
doesn’t tolerate bullying. This shows that the school is socially, emotionally and
physically safe for Tammy. As far as academically, Tammy is always completing her
work without any complaints.
For health, the grade level joined the Let’s Move Campaign, which was launched
by the First Lady. There was an instructional dance video that was showed to the
students. On October 30, 2013, after recess, my mentor teacher played the dance video
that the students were taught and Tammy danced passionately. I could conclude from
the way she danced that she enjoys this form of art. Her eyes remained on the projector
as she danced. From that week forward, she eagerly anticipated for the time where she
can dance once again and I noticed that she improved as each week past. Because of
this, I was curious if she danced outside of school so I had a conversation with her and
she informed me that she dances hula. “I dance hula but I’m shy sometimes and I get
super nervous” she declared. Dancing is one of her outside activities that she
participates in.
One Thursday afternoon, the class had Hawaiian studies so Kumu started off the
class by dancing hula. She has taught the students some of the steps before and she
just added a few more steps for the students to follow. As they were dancing, Tammy
was really devoted to dancing. She was quick at following the new steps and was
smiling throughout the dance. When Kumu shared to the class that they would dance
one more time, Tammy expressed her excitement by jumping up and down. After they
have finished dancing, their next activity was learning about Ohana or Family. Kumu
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started off by introducing the different members that assembles a family in the Hawaiian
Language and as she was explaining each one, I watched Tammy shared the answers
to her classmate. I was surprised to discover that Tammy knew the translations of the
members of the family because only a few students were able to answer. As they were
completing their Ohana activity where they write the members of their family in the
appropriate box, Tammy helped out her neighbors who could not recall the translations.
Furthermore, my mentor teacher grouped the students and each day of the
week, certain groups of students are allowed on the computer and in the listening
center. Every Thursdays during independent reading time Tammy is assigned to be in
the listening center and she expressed that she enjoys going to the listening center by
walking eagerly each Thursday. From my observation, she tends to make sure that all
her group mates have headphones and books to follow along with the read aloud tape.
One Thursday morning, Tammy faced an obstacle during listening center. Her
headphones were all tangled up with another headphone. Her face indicated that she
was determined to solve this problem on her own but after a while she realized she
couldn’t solve this by herself so she raised her hand to ask for help. I immediately went
over to the listening center and helped Tammy untied her headphones. She was
relieved and said thank you enthusiastically. After Tammy and her group were finished
listening, she made sure that the listening center was clean before heading back to her
desk. She has showed me that she is caring, responsible and has met GLO number 6,
which is Effective and Ethical User of Technology. On the same day, during math test
Tammy positioned her testing cubby and began solving the math problems. She worked
quietly as she circles the numbers that were present and underlined what the problem
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was asking for. This showed that she has a strategy in solving math problems. When
she had finished her test, she immediately grabbed a book from her basket and read
quietly until further directions from Mrs. Johnson.
Each school day, the students have at least half an hour to read different types of
book. Beginning from the first time I observed Tammy, she exhibited that she enjoys
reading. According to her Diagnostic Reading Assessment (DRA), she is on track with
her reading fluency. One morning, she proceeded to the class library to trade in for a
new book. Tammy informed me that she loves reading the Franklin-Turtle series,
Clifford the big red dog and different chapter books. She also mentioned that her
favorite subjects are math and science. Tammy wants to learn about rocks and gems.
One Thursday afternoon, Mrs. Johnson notified me that our content is science and
we’re experimenting on rocks. I immediately thought of Tammy and as soon as Mrs.
Johnson announced to the class what we were doing that day, Tammy’s face lite up
with joy. She enjoyed every single part of the experiment where they rubbed the rocks
together to produce tiny particles.
On a recent discovery, Tammy revealed that she has joined cheerleading. She
has cheer practice three times a week (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). A
requirement to participate in cheering is to have your teacher sign you off with your
grades and throughout all subjects, there should be at least a DP, which is Developing
Proficiency. If there were any Well Below (WB) on the form then the student can’t
participate until his or her grades are brought up to a DP. Tammy asked Mrs. Johnson
to complete a form to determine if she can participate in cheerleading. She was anxious
to discover the result and as soon as Mrs. Johnson has finished the form, Tammy
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immediately examined and jumped up for joy. Tammy’s form consisted of DP and MP
(Meets Proficiency). This means that she is allowed to participate in cheerleading. One
of the comments that stood out to me was under leadership. Mrs. Johnson inserted that
Tammy needs to improve her leadership skills. The only situation where I observed
Tammy show any leadership was the Pumpkin Dance so I agree with Mrs. Johnson’s
Since Tammy needs improvement in her leadership skills, I would create more
instructions that require students to work in groups. In this group, I would incorporate
different roles for each student and alternate it from time to time so that all students can
practice all the roles. These roles would include leader, writer and speaker. Through this
type of instruction the students can learn to collaborate with a group, acquire
responsibility, leadership and oral skills. “When a group of individuals interact for a
period of time, a feeling of intimacy or togetherness develops” (Borich, 2011). From
group work, students also get to develop their classmates as their family. In addition, an
important aspect that I learned from observing Tammy is that the development of
instructional routines and pre-establishing classroom rules are effective classroom
management (Borich, 2011) as Tammy proved it. Another action that I would execute
with Tammy is to expose her to different math strategies because Van De Walle, Karp
and Bay-Williams stated that it is essential for students to learn more than one strategy
to solve different problems (2013). Overall, I really enjoyed learning about how Tammy’s
day to day school life throughout my observations. It gave me numerous insights on
how to handle different situations that I might encounter in my future teaching.

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