A new year is upon us and most teachers are starting their third week of school. Before school started, the first couple workdays were filled with anticipation, excitement as teachers got their classrooms ready for Meet the Teacher Night. New faces emerged and introductions were made and then to the first week of school.
As the students entered the building, their teachers welcomed the excitement. Classroom rules were discussed, new cubbies were found and new friends were made. Now we are starting week three and the students are becoming comfortable with their new environment. A routine is starting to be set and the teachers are feeling and enjoying the community in their classrooms.
This year has been different for me. I have observed from afar as students have started a new year in a new classroom. This is a the year for me in a different position. I am the First Grade Academic Intervention Support Teacher at the elementary school that I have worked at for the past 4 years. I am excited about my position and the variety of students that I am going to work with.
I have spent the past 2 weeks asking “What can I do to help?” to my fellow first grade teachers. As I have been immersed in their classrooms, I have had the opportunity to observe and work with the first grade students. It is inspiring to see how excited the students are and the connections they make from prior knowledge and their summer experiences.
The classrooms are a bustle of energy when the students are engaged with one another, during partner reading or interactive readings with the teacher. But this all changes when independent activities with specific directions are given. I have noticed that the students want to work with one another, enjoy discussing the activities and are productive in the classroom of whisper voices.
After the first two weeks of school and Disciplinary Literacy discussions, I want to continue the interactions and excitement in my small groups. If you are to search for the definition of an intervention teacher you might find this image:
When I read those words, there is nothing that excites me or jumps out as an interesting learning environment. I think many times that these are the words that are associated with intervention. I am challenging myself to use the Disciplinary literacy coursework as a way to change the face of “intervention” and response to students.
I am looking forward to incorporating comic book strips into the literacy groups as a new form of writing. Many times my students are reluctant to write and give up when they see 20 lines on a piece of paper. The comic strips will given them an opportunity to engage in writing, but in a new improved way.
Here are some resources that I have found so far:
- Edutopia has a great resource for comic strip writing as well as some examples for teachers to use as group work.
- Teachers Pay Teachers has various templates to download and use in the classroom as both planners and final copies
- K12 Reader has templates with speech bubbles included to use as a model for comics
- Brain Pop Jr. has videos that discuss the concept of comics and then an interactive program for students to create their own comics
- The Graphic Classroom gives recommendations for comic books based on students’ reading level
I am looking forward to documenting my journey as an intervention teacher and how I will be implementing the Disciplinary literacy into my small group instruction. If you have any suggestions or ideas to keep my students engaged in purposeful small group instruction, please let me know.