My class works with a 1/2 muti-age classroom on Fridays. Each of my students are paired up with a younger student for the entire year so they can form a relationships with them and help them with many learning skills. This gives them different opportunities to work with students in reading, writing, math, etc. My students love working with the younger ones and it always amazes me how they become such strong leaders from this experience. My students that may not be the strongest leaders with their peers get the opportunity to show their ability to lead and guide with the little ones. I love finding new ways to integrate what we do in our classroom with others in our school. To make these experiences really student driven, I create the lesson plans with the students. This lets them see what it really takes to plan a classroom lesson. I then make sure they know the objective, the steps to complete the lesson, and what will be assessed. When the 1st and 2nd graders enter the room, my students are ready to be the teachers!
Currently, the 1st and 2nd graders are learning about the Sun, Moon and Stars in Science. This week we helped them plan a story about a space person taking a trip to the moon. The students did a pre-writing activity together where they used large sheets of paper and copies of a space person to create a map of the different destinations and adventures their character experienced on their way to the moon. The goal of my students was to help the 1/2 students incorporate their vocabulary words and keep their story ideas focused. We have focused on the trait of voice in writing, so I want them to show strong voice in the story as well. Next time we meet, the students will begin writing their rough drafts of their stories. All the students are very excited about this project and I am looking forward to the student collaboration.