Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Help! Intervention Mentors to the Rescue



Boy am I being challenged this year. I have a massive number of children who do not know their alphabet, are unable to count, and are not too sure of the sight words that have been introduced. What's a teacher to do? Pull her hair out.  No, I am calling in the fifth graders to help me. Yup, you read that right! We are going to work with our mentors because learning with Mrs. Kramer is not that much fun. Maybe I will get better results this way. My head is spinning with ideas to change this up and make it work. So tonight I made 31 sets of cards with alphabet letters, a chart to build letter fluency, and a set of questions the mentors can ask my little ones to get to know them. Will it work? Stay posted. Does anyone else have a buddy program?
Ideas in the works:
Bingo Games
Beach Ball Toss with Sight Words on the ball
Writing letters outside with sidewalk chalk
Reading stories
Creating a double bubble map to compare the older buddy with his young friend

27 comments:

Cindy said...

Fran,
Boy do we live in a parallel universe or what? I was just having a similar conversation yesterday! I have VERY large classes. Many of my little ones don't know their letters...not even ones in their names. I haven't done the Buddy thing yet...but I am gearing up for Parent Volunteers. Keep us posted...I hope this will do the trick for them!

Shelby said...

Wow! You hit it on the nail. Just today we went to our fifth grade reading buddies and I gave their teacher letter cards to practice with the kindergarteners. I am looking for new ideas to help them learn their letters and sounds. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Crayons and Curls said...

Our campus is only Pre-K, Kinder and 1st - I wish we had a mentor program! Definitely a suggestion to bring up! Thanks for sharing the idea! :)
Cheryl
Crayons and Curls

Mommy2CVC said...

This sounds like a great idea. We have 5th grade buddies too and they would love to do something like this. Right now I have them reading the Pre-Decodables with the students. Will you be selling these ideas?

S. Parker said...

Fran,
I totally understand. I feel like I still have so much to teach but not enough time;and I teach full day k. I remember the years I taught half day....boy, were those action packed marathons. I am certain this intervention will help. We hope to do something similar soon. Many of our most need students are Beginners as well.

Fran Kramer said...

I will create stuff for you to download for free and then I want to create a packet because I think many of us are fighting the challenge of huge classes (my friend Cindy) and kids who have never been to preschool. I am really being challenged by this group! I am focusing on meeting their needs at their level and moving forward. Buddies might make it a bit more interesting.

All the places you love said...

I have been using 5th grade buddies for years with my kinder students. I usually like to have older students come and help in the classroom who need a little help themselves. It helps build their self-confidence, and teaching a skill someone else reinforces what they have been working on in their classroom. I never pare a low older student with a high kindergartner. Some of my kinders read on a second or third grade level and that can be rather deflating to the self-esteem of an older child. To make the experience easy and enjoyable for both students I use game boards and flash cards. Here is a example of what I’m talking about. http://all-the-places-to-love.blogspot.com/2011/10/working-on-literacy.html

Freckleteacher said...

Good luck to you Fran! I think
5th grade buddies is an excellent idea! Do you have the Have Fun Teaching Videos? Have you seen them on YouTube? My class loves them and so do I. We are doing a letter video each day and I think they will help with letters and sounds. They are keeping track of the letters on an alphabet sheet as we watch the different videos. very catchy!

Anjanette said...

I teach at a Title One school. Many of my students don't know more than one or two letters when they start school. We have been using a Letter a Day approach and covering the alphabet rapidly 4 times a year to increase our letter and sound recognition as taught by Dr Ray Reutzel (Utah State University). I feel it has been very effective. Here is a link to a power point about his findings http://cehs.usu.edu/ecc/images/pdf/presentations/knowing_letter_names3.pdf.
Good luck.

Fran Kramer said...

Thank you for all the thoughtful suggestions. I will check them out and see if I can incorporate any of them. I really appreciate all the help and comments so much!

christine said...

Fran,
What a timely post! I love the idea of using "buddies" to help my low letter i.d. kids...Thank you for all of your creations! I'm anxiously awaiting your letter fluency sheets...I wish I could use them today!
christine

We Teach Like A Rockstar said...

My question is....if we are all struggling with this....how are other K teachers moving on to sentences in their writing because they are doing great at labeling words. Thanks for sharing!

krazykindergarten said...

We have a buddy program with 8th graders. It takes a little consideration when pairing up partners because 26% of our students have Limited English. I want to make sure the kindergartners are getting correct information. We play "Compare" which is like "War". We also play a lot of the games from www.kellyskindergarten.com. She has AWESOME ideas. These games keep their interest! We also play alphabet bingo, number bingo, rhyming bingo in small groups.

The latest thing I am trying is an 5 x 7 manila envelope for each child. I have number, alphabet, color and shape flashcards in the envelope. I have a plastic ziploc bag labeled "Things I need to practice." The older kids know that they pull out the plastic bag and go through the cards with the kindergartners. I am hoping this will help and eventually we can do sight words too. (Note-the manila envelope has each student's name written in pencil so I can erase their name and use them again next year. This saves time and materials. At the end of the year I have the older kids put the alphabet cards and number cards in order and then I check the packet before I assign them to the next class.) I started this last year when the class I had was very low academically. They did not know colors, shapes, letters, numbers or even how to write their name. This year my class will be ready for things at a higher level.

Thanks for sharing all of your great ideas, Fran!!!

Janice said...

Fran, I love all the great suggestions I've just read. I teach grade one and have 4 children this year who still know less than half their letters and even fewer sounds. It sure makes learning to read and write a challenge!

Mrs. Miller said...

I work with the 5th graders also. We meet in the computer lab each week and do Starfall.com or readwritethink.org. Great games to play!

We Teach Like A Rockstar said...

We have 3 sections of kindergarten. We will pair the students up with another kindergarten student in one of the other classrooms. They love to see each other besides recess!

weety said...

Fran, I can't wait to see what you come up with. I am in so cal also, and I'm sooo frustrated with my new HUGE class of 31 kids!!! I would love to use these letter fluency ideas with older buddies.

danikteacher2 said...

Our school is k to 6th, so we have 6th grade mentors. I would love to purchase your mentor packet from TpT! I look forward to it!

Fran Kramer said...

I promise to share my ideas and my mentor packet with all of you. Thank you for all these wonderful ideas and for just sharing your perspective.

bussesbusykindergarten said...

Normally on the first day of school most of my students know the upper and lower case letters but this year only 4 children knew upper case and 2 knew all lower case letters. I have been pulling my hair out and then I bought all of the Heidisongs products! Oh my, it works wonders. I now have only 2 students that are still working on upper case letters and 5 working on lower case letters. The interesting thing is that they know most of the sounds! I do have the luxury of all day kindergarten and low class size this year.

Heather Shelton said...

I love the idea of using upper grades as mentors. I use a 3rd grade class as buddy readers, but I think it would be awesome to have them work with students on things I am not getting through to them on. How often and how long do the mentors work with your students. I am looking forward to your mentor posts!

Liz Mccaw said...

I love big buddies!! We have a grade 3 group who come once weekly. It helps outside with play as well as math and literacy. Last week they did a spider glyph using interview format and this week they are doing a bar graph with gumdrops. They always end their visit with Kinders reading from their reading folders. I rotate through math, literacy, science and art each week.Naming them mentors is such a great description. I am going to change to that beginning in January.The grade three teacher stays in her room with a small group and does either enrichment or intervention. Thanks for all of your great ideas!!! Liz McCaw in Nanaimo BC

Pam said...

I was just wondering how this is going. I made what I call word wallets. They are actually a piece of construction paper folded and then stapled in the middle and on the sides. Then I added stickers one has a smiley and the other has a silly face and says I need a little more work. Then I took our Lifetime words and put them on a picture of a dollar bill. The fifth grade buddy checks them off to see how quickly the know their words or letters. For every 5 words or letters they know they get a little sticker to decorate their wallet. They love it. Also, it is easy for little hands to handle.

Marielle Slappe said...

The activity posted above...is it available in your TpT store?
I LOVE all of your ideas!!! Thank you, thank you!!

Alicia said...

Is this available? I totally totally need this!!!

Fran Kramer said...

No, not yet but I will sometime...promise.

Yvonnee said...

Hi Fran,
Can you tell me which post that had downloads for free for intervention?
Thanks,
yvonneeyrg@gmail.com