Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mentoring adds to Differentiation

   One of the best intervention days happens on Fridays for my group.  This group is the enrichment and RtI tier one students who need fluency practice.  Two of our fifth grade intervention groups have coupled with our two kindergarten classrooms. 
   During our intervention period, it is the kindergarten Daily 5 period.  Fifth graders go to the kindergarten room with which we are paired.  The students in both classes look forward to this day.  That is natural engagement!  The kindergarteners believe they are special to have the "big" kids come listen to them read.  My students walk down the hall with a skip in their step and smiles on their faces after a mini lesson on how to "teach" or support their reader through questioning.  Wow! Verbalizing questions happens to be a weakness of even my higher students. Fifth graders in the past two weeks had to be able to assist with characterization, summarization, plot, and setting.  This has done more for my students abilities to apply their knowledge than any of the other activities I have developed.
My students who need additional fluency work do not know that they are getting extra practice by partner reading with their kindergarten student.
    This week both classes are working on onomatopoiea.  Since, figurative language is an emphasis before state testing this gave us the perfect oportunity to practice writing simple onomatopoiea sentences.  During our Monday intervention period, the figurative language types were reviewed.  In small group and large groups, we brainstormed onomatopoiea examples that kindergartners would understand.  This was a great challenge/enrichment activity.  It forced those who always think above and beyond to switch brain functions to bring it to a lower level.  Those who are not as strong in writing were given a reprieve from the constant push of fifth grade level writing. Once sentences were checked, okayed by myself,  and typed, the students illustrated them.  I put the parts into a wonderful book.  The classroom received the color copy and each kindergartener had a black and white copy to add to their book boxes. 
    The kindergarden teacher stopped me later to let me know that she shared the color copy with the students later.  All the students had their copies out as well.  She said they LOVED it!  I hope they continue to look at it to increase their fluency as well. 
     The only issue I had was two of my students did not complete their pictures. So, I made a quick black line sketch for their sentence.  Then I let the other teacher know that the last two pages were interactive.  The students can draw in bacon on the pan so it can sizzle and draw cars to zoom around the race track.  Sometimes, I just have to kiss my brain!
           Please, share what brain bursting activities in which you are involving your students.