Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Live at the Kinder Creek!

Letter Combinations
Today offered another live demonstration from Chets Creek to our County's professional development sight, the Schultz Center. The live demonstration came from Maria Mallon's Kindergarten classroom. What was different this time around is that teaching Literacy 101 at the Schultz Center were Chets Creek Kindergarten teachers Meredy Mackiewicz and Haley Alvarado. Literacy 101 is a yearlong course that meets every other week for K-1 teachers in the county who are new to the county or who are new to the Readers' and Writers' Workshop.

Initial Blends

On this blog, we last peeked into Maria's Skills Block on 10/11/07. This time around she included some of the same activities such as her Good Morning song, a song with the children's names, and the class promise, but today, activities around initial consonant letters and sounds have changed to letter combinations as seen in the first photograph, initial blends as seen in the second photograph and an activity with magnet letters used as final consonants. Each of the first two charts is recited with a steady beat with a student leader.

Final Consonants with magnetic letters

The 30-minute Skills Block is broken into many quick and fun activities. To break down the time requiring the children to sit on the carpet, Maria adds several songs and dances (see photograph to the right) that allow the children to move using a number of different academically-oriented CDs.
Songs and dances for transitions

Maria continues the Skills Block with an activity around word families (-ug, -ot). This activity also includes a song that invites children to practice blending onsets and rimes. After the children have spent a few more days on the word families, these shapes will be added to a Word Family Word Wall in the back of her room. The final activity is modeled and then children finish the activity at their seats. This final activity requires the children to write 4 words from the -ug word family and to draw matching pictures. Maria's Skills Block is well paced, interactive, and FUN!

As the children exit the room with team teacher, Julie Johnson, Maria takes the teachers on a tour of her room. She shows them her Vocabulary Word Wall, an example of the books that are contained in an individual Independent Reading bin this time of year, what a leveled library for Kindergarten looks like, and some of the titles of her genre baskets. All in all, teachers in Literacy 101 got to watch a master teacher at work, Maria had a chance to share some of things that have worked for her, and Haley and Meredy had the opportunity to take a risk and teach adults for the day instead of children. Looks like a win-win for everyone to me!


Melanie Holtsman said...

I think it is amazing and generous that so many teachers at Chets are willing to open their classrooms and knowledge to new teachers who are learning. There is really no better training ground. Thanks Maria and the many other teachers who make it all possible!

Mrs.Mallon said...

You can make anybody look good! Thank you for all you do to support your teachers. You always make us feel free to experiment with new ideas, take risks, and think outside the box.