Fieldnote, 23 Oct. 2012

The music workshop at the library. Not as easy as we would have thought to recruit children. Sara and I both assumed the computers in the center would not be an issue, but they were. Students on computers looked over to see what we were up to, but the temptation to leave the screen, let go of the headphones, was too great. After all, students wait in line for their turn to use the machines, so there was an opportunity cost there.

Sara grouped seven children in a circle, six girls and one boy. They practiced songs in English and Spanish, and as she continued the lesson, I went around the room recruiting children to participate. In the end we the seven, two of the children attended the local bilingual school. They seemed to show the most enthusiasm for the activities. The other children considered the songs to much “for babies.” Singing the ABCs in English was insulting. But singing it in Spanish was something different. That was difficult for me, and I had to sing after the children sang the words, because I didn’t want them to hear my accent. I learned from them though, and it was helpful. It will be interesting to see what things they consider too much for babies. What I think we need to do is get more technology in, use that to help the activities, and also to distract attention from the other computer screens, and bring in a discussion of topics.

I can see more music using laptops, hopefully to get them to have fun, buy maybe to do a discussion, to get them involved. It will be interesting how she uses some of the games to involve them. I’ve yet to play Uno with students who still make the request that I do. I think playing games that interact with learning, or learning games, will be the most beneficial activities, especially games that involve bilingual play.

Bilingual play, that could be an interesting idea. I’m currently about to start a book by Heath about learning and play. I believe Vygotsky also writes about this and socialization activities among young learners learning from one another in classroom settings.

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