Demographic: 9 year old, female, caucasian, student, lives in affluent suburban neighborhood, both her parents have college degrees
Descriptive Title: The Athletic Game Enthusiast
Quote: “I like to learn through games.”
A Day in a Life Narrative:
Madison is a smart, curious, fun-loving 9-year-old. During the week, she gets up at 7 am to eat breakfast and get ready for school. Once arriving at school, she completes the morning work her teacher has assigned. Then she goes to “Specials” class – art, music, P.E. or technology, although P.E. is her favorite. After specials, they do spelling and word work. They have a test on Friday, so they play “Firecracker” — a game she enjoys, in order to memorize the words. Madison likes playing games to help her learn things, as it helps her remember the material better.
After that, the class goes to lunch and recess. It’s too cold out today to go outside, so they have indoor recess. Madison enjoys playing Yahtzee with two of her friends from class. In the afternoon, they work on math, writing and science. Then they move on to social studies. She doesn’t dislike learning about Indiana History, but at school, all they seem to do is read about what happened in their textbook, and even that doesn’t provide much detail. She wishes that there was some way to learn about Indiana history that was more like the games she likes to play on her iPad. In those games, she get rewarded with points or badges for accomplishing specific goals. In class, she has to memorize material and take tests about it. If only learning about Indiana could be a bit more fun. Madison is a fairly good student though, and does her best to learn the material from the textbook anyway.
When she gets home from school, Madison eats a snack and does her homework. When she is finished, she tells her mom that she is leaving, and asks what time to be back for dinner. Then she walks two houses down the street to play with a friend. Other days, she stays at home, playing games on her iPad, surfing the Internet, and playing with her dog. On Thursdays, she has soccer practice after school. She is looking forward to their game this weekend. She is also talking to her parents about starting to play volleyball as well. Another of Madison’s hobbies is cooking. Right now she knows how to make Brownies but she has made it her goal to learn how to cook an entire dinner for her whole family. After dinner, her family starts a game of Monopoly, but they can’t finish before Madison’s bed time. At 8:30, she goes upstairs to get ready for bed so that she can be in bed by 9pm.
Madison is using this website because she wants to learn something and have fun at the same time. She found this website after school one day and was curious because it featured the same topic they had just talked about in class. Madison is using this website outside of class to expand her knowledge of the subject matter and to find out what details the textbook left out. She notices that this website is presenting history in a way that is different from her a textbook. It is more interactive, more detailed, and a lot more fun. It has tasks for her to accomplish, and she gets rewarded for doing them. Now Madison is using the website more like a game, testing her own learning as she goes. Madison is finally having fun learning about history.
Demographic: Female, 40 years old, caucasian, Fourth grade teacher, mother, B.A in Elementary Education, lives in a farmhouse near the suburbs
Descriptive Title: Overworked, Dedicated, and Curious Educator
Quote: “I wish I knew more about Indiana history so that I could be confident sharing interesting information with my students that is not found in their textbook.”
A Day in a Life Narrative:
Amy gets up at 5am so that she can be at school by 7:15. She has just enough time to make copies of the math quiz for today and attend a grade level meeting before the students arrive at 8:30. After teaching for about an hour, Amy’s students leave for “Specials” class. After getting them into two straight lines, walking them to the other end of the building, dropping them off, and walking back to her classroom, she barely has 30 minutes for preparation before she has to go pick them up. Then she teaches language arts before lunch.
After lunch, she teaches writing, Indiana history, and science. She wishes that she was more knowledgable about the topics covered in the Indiana History textbook. Many of the topics interest her personally, but she doesn’t have a lot of extra time to do her own research. If she did, she could feel more confident presenting interesting stories and different perspectives to her students. Next, she has her students work on an engineering project for science class in groups, with each group using one of the classroom iPads. The students seem really engaged because it is a hands-on approach and they get to use the iPads. At 3:25, her students depart. She is allowed to leave at 3:45, but she doesn’t usually go home until 5:15 or so. She has too many papers to grade, lesson plans to make, and paperwork to fill out.
Once she does leave, she grabs dinner at a fast food restaurant so that she can make it to her son’s basketball game. After the game, she works on more school work, until 10:30 or 11pm at night. She falls into bed, hoping to get some sleep before she has to do it all over again tomorrow. On the weekends, she tries to spend some more time with her family, but ends up grading a lot of papers and making lesson plans for the upcoming week. On a rare weekend, she visits a local state park with a friend to go hiking.
Amy is excited to find a website that covers one of the topics she teaches to her students. Amy is using this website primarily to expand her knowledge about the topic. After reading the spare information provided in her students’ textbook, she is personally curious to learn about the topic on a more in-depth level. She also seeks new perspectives that her limited knowledge from the student textbook might have glossed over. She wants to gain a better understanding of the material so that she can be more knowledgable about the topic when teaching it to her students. She wants to learn stories or surprising details that she might share with her students. Finally, she wants to pick up on interpretation and engagement strategies that she might be able to incorporate into her classroom.