Literacy Leaders ~ Cross-School Mentoring

Overview Why is it important to read aloud to younger children? Using the latest technology, high schoolers launch cross-school tutoring by scheduling five Read Aloud sessions with their elementary school Book Buddies. With children as their audience, older students interact in a REAL environment to raise their own learning standards and learn by teaching. Reflection Journals help them understand the mentoring experience. A Literacy Poster Contest and a Teacher Shadowship Day open doors to literacy competencies and teaching as a career.

Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
• Investigate, practice & critique each other's read aloud techniques.
• Write Hints for Reading Aloud (or download, 367 KB). Include in a computer slide show.
• Search appropriate literature on Internet & complete Literature Review on six children's books.
• Create Reflection Journals addressing books, materials, student profiles, & activities.
• Write a Reading letter to parents of young children.
• Organize & conduct Literacy Poster Contest.
• Identify school & schedule Read Aloud sessions with students via e-mail.
• During Read Aloud sessions, stress importance of reading to children.
• Share excerpts from Reflection Journals with children.
• Encourage them to reflect on books they read.
• Share Reading letters with parents of younger children.
• Present computer slide show during Parents' Night & statewide service learning conference.
• Display posters throughout community (schools, libraries & senior centers.)
• Plan a schoolwide Teacher Shadowship Day.
• Collaborate on letter requesting permission to visit classrooms.
• Respond to Key Questions after classroom visits.
• Reflect on teaching as a career in journals.
• Adapt School to Career Competencies for elementary students.

Learning Standards English Language Art

• Understand & effectively employ the writing process.
• Conduct effective discussions.
• Employ different uses of technology to complete & enhance work.

School to Career Competencies

• Develop Communication & Literacy Skills.
• Use Technology.
• Act Professionally.
• Take Responsibility for Career & Life Choices.

Assessment Students and teacher share Reflection Journals and Literature Review Did I Sheets after each session. They use rubrics to evaluate Key Questions, products, and presentations

Software or Materials Used For literature on mentoring Read Aloud sessions: Read Aloud Handbook 1995: Penguin Books by James Trelease; Students as Teachers, Mollie Gregory 1995: J. Weston Walch; for Read Aloud sessions and poster contest: assorted children’s books, journals, art supplies

Web Sites Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators, The Teachers Network , Booklist from American Library Association, Future Educators of America

Keywords Service Learning, Mentoring, Literacy, Reflection Journals, Teaching Careers, Shadow Day, Read Aloud, School to Career

Final Words This project addresses literacy - how students become life long learners, how they communicate the importance of reading to younger children, how they acquire parenting skills for a future generation of readers. The Teacher Shadowship Day easily transfers to other careers.

Teacher Tip Time management skills are important when working with cross-school projects. Faced with scheduling and organizing Read Aloud sessions, students show improved communication skills.

E-mail contact Mary Ellen Bower

Teacher Bio Mary Ellen Bower, a Boston Public School Lead Teacher, has taught elementary and high school classes for thirty-two years. As School to Career Coordinator at West Roxbury High School, she leads a TeachBoston career pathway course. Mary Ellen has received a Golden Apple and the Harvard Book Award for teachers and frequently conducts literacy and career workshops. She and her students, recipients of Fleet's All-Stars 2000 award for community service, have testified before the Massachusetts State Legislature and have presented at statewide Department of Education conferences.

Subject Areas Language Arts, Technology, Career Education

Grade Levels K - 12

Students Partnerships between High School & Elementary School

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