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Literacy Fair:

Literacy Fair Gabrielle Buggs December 1, 2011 Course

Introduction to the Host Setting:

Introduction to the Host Setting I completed my service hours at Spirit Elementary School in Deltona,FL. This was an inclusive class and the students with learning disabilities that were included did not exhibit characteristics different from the other kids."

Engagement Activities:

Engagement Activities I decided to address literacy. Literacy is an important part of a child’s development especially in the primary grade levels. Myself and my partner allowed third grade students at Spirit Elementary to decorate the posters used in the literacy fair as well as prepare the arts and crafts activities for the kindergarteners. Myself and my partner came to the school for 30 minutes twice sometimes three times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, and sometimes on Fridays.

How we got Started?:

How we got Started? At the beginning of the semester, myself and my partner met to jot down ideas on what we could do for this project. My partner mentioned books which led me to the idea of a literacy fair. We both then joined together and researched standards for kindergarten and noticed that the seasons and the five senses are science standards for kindergarten. I then came up with the idea of having a literacy fair. In this fair, students would have the opportunity to explore the seasons through the reading of an assigned book and explore the five senses with an arts and crafts activity.

Participant Demographics:

Participant Demographics This semester I had the opportunity to work in a classroom with 16 students. The class included13 Caucasian students, 2 Hispanic students , and 1 African American student.

Service in Action:

Service in Action

Perceptions of Differences:

Perceptions of Differences This was a great experience since this was an inclusive class and the students with learning disabilities who were included did not exhibit characteristics different from the other kids. I had mixed emotions at first about this assignment. I went into this assignment with the idea that this would be challenging and hard to complete. Looking back, I appreciate this opportunity and would love to be able to do it again. With hard work and time management this project turned out to be a pretty simple task. Just looking at how much students lack in reading really had an affect on me walking into this assignment.

Perceptions of Differences cont.:

Perceptions of Differences cont . I was really surprised at the enthusiasm shown by the third graders towards helping out with the project. They were constantly excited to see Helene and I on our days in their classroom. To make this an organized experience, we teamed up with both teachers and had them buddy up the kindergarteners with a third grader on the day of our presentation. This turned out to be a great idea because it many of the kindergarteners lacked on motor skills, but their buddies were able to assist them in completing the activities efficiently.

Connections to Your Course:

Connections to Your Course I was enrolled in the EEX 4070 course for the Teachers in Action Project. Three course topics that I now better understand include the five types of instruction. The one we chose to use was indirect, where the students explored by reading and completed the activities with minimal support. We just acted as the facilitators along with their teachers to make sure the students stayed on task. Explicit teaching was also included in our project. We set a purpose for the learning as well as told students what to do, showed them what they were to do, and then guided them through the hands-on activities. I also now see how well cooperative learning can work in a classroom. Cooperative learning seemed to work very well with our project in that each student had a buddy. The third grade students read the books to the kindergarteners as well as assisted them with creating their arts and crafts activity. These experiences will greatly impact my future in the education field. I now see the importance of engaging students and allowing them to interact with hands-on activities. It helps them gain confidence in themselves that they can achieve a lot no matter if they have a disability or not.

Civic Engagement:

Civic Engagement I think that civic engagement and volunteerism is great. I think everyone should be actively engaged in the community, there are so many opportunities available. I think civic engagement serves an important purpose in society. There are so many things in society that need improvement and with the help of volunteers these issue can be resolved. I think service learning provides an opportunity to expand ones knowledge in a variety of ways. Personally I have learned a lot about myself and being a teacher through this project. This experience definitely motivated me to want to become more engaged in the future which includes researching what needs there are to be met in the community. I would highly recommend students and teachers to embrace service learning. There is so much to learn. I have learned through this project that if you offer yourself to a professional, they will go above and beyond to assist you in any way as well as provide you with tips, advice, and information related to your field of study.

Final Thoughts & Reflections:

Final Thoughts & Reflections There are so many volunteering opportunities available. There are many resources available to help find places that need volunteers such as school, libraries, and other educational institutions. I plan on helping others by sharing this experience and finding more opportunities that others can be involved in. Teachers play a significant role in educating students, parents, citizens, and other members of the community. It does not have to be just related to academics. Teachers can create different volunteering projects for others to be involved in outside of school that can help improve the community. This can be done by conferences as well as meetings outside of the classroom. I really enjoyed doing this assignment. It was fun, time consuming, and a slight bit challenging. I was able to see how a small idea can turn into a great project. I believe we addressed everything we intended which included introducing the seasons and briefly discussing the five senses.

Optional: Books used in the Literacy Fair:

Optional : Books used in the Literacy Fair Here are the Books that were used in the literacy fair: Spring: A fresh –n-Fruity Spring By Lauren Cecil Illustrated by Susan Calitri Summer: Sand Castle By Brenda Shannon Yee Illustrated by Thea Kliros Fall : Thelonius Turkey Lives! - (on Felicia Ferguson's Farm)" By Lynn Rowe Reed Winter: Bunny Wishes - A Winter's Tale By Michaela Morgan

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