Fieldnote, 10 Dec. 2012

Happy Birthday to us. We spent out time at the Library this evening, and afterwards we had tacos up the street at Ramirez, the best tacos in Mexington.

It was a slow night, only a few children, but S and I both helped two each. We were both exhausted, and I felt bad because this probably wasn’t the birthday my wife had in mind.

Helping the children, though, was rewarding as always. I helped third-grader Jenny with her times tables. She’s a quirky one, and I enjoy how she makes learning and tutoring fun because of her humor. We each went through the tables and by the time I quized her at the end, she had a firm grip on her “7’s” as she called them.

The second youth I helped was Vicente. His personality was more reserved, less like Jenny. Joking with him while going through his spelling vocabulary list was more difficult. Homework was all business for him. He was a very quiet boy, but he worked hard, though he did struggle with reading some of the words on his list. Like with Jenny, I gave him a practice quiz. He had a difficult time with the preposition “within” as he continued to spell it “withen,” but after a few practice rounds and some coaching in breaking down the morphemes “with” and “in” he was able to navigate the word. Without my coaching, he performed the same technique with the word “together” breaking it up into “to,” “get,” and “her.”

“Breaking words up into smaller pieces helps sometimes, I do it all the time.”

“Okay,” he said. “It makes the big words easy.”

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