I have finished teaching my second day in beautiful Jamaica – and what a day! After lunch, I work with a smaller group of students who need extra help. So, there I am outside with about 10 fourth graders, a preservice teacher from Oregon, and an assistant from Mississippi. We were getting started to “make rain” by standing in a circle starting with rubbing palms, snapping fingers, clapping hands, slapping thighs, stomping feet, and then backwards…when it started to rain! But, wait, there’s more!
After that, they participated in an echo read with a poem called “Storm.” By that time, we had to go in the corridor under the tin roof on the pavement. What do you think happened after I said, “BOOM!” and they said, “BOOM!”? We heard thunder! As the poem went on, the storm grew stronger. After it was over, I told the students to high-five his/her partner and say, “That was so cool!” And, that’s just what they did. The principal, who saw the last part of the echo read, had a different name for it. She called it “a blessing.”
When we finished the game and reading, they practiced a reading strategy I called, “*If I Know This then I Know That.” So, using white boards, they learned new words from the poem like light, bright, night, and then brainstormed other words they knew before we went onto “oom” and other patterns.
The hardest part is I want to have MORE TIME to work with each of them…but, I’m going to just use the word the principal said…it was a blessing.
*Unfortunately, there are many fourth graders who can’t read…but they BURN with the desire to LEARN. It breaks your heart and inspires you at the same time…an indescribable feeling.