It didn’t really settle in my head that the first semester is about to come to an end until I walked into my first Grade 4 class on Monday. Because these were the last classes I would have with the fourth grades this school year. I always know that in my first semester, I would have the 4, 5, and 6s; the second semester, I have the 3, 5, and 6s. Still, I have come to love and adore all my students. I wish I could have kept all my students but my schedule wouldn’t allow it. And so, I asked for class photos with the fourth grades. I’m going to miss my enthusiastic, loud, and lovable munchkins.
My Grade 4 students love role playing but I wanted to try Readers Theater with them. It would be a good way to work on their reading fluency and start working on putting emotions into their reading. Although there are four steps to the process – I had only two sessions to work with and even so, it ended up being better than I expected.
In the first session, my co-teacher and I explained what Readers Theater was to the students – and showed them a student example from YouTube. We then divided the roles amongst the two of us and read the story “The Ant and the Grasshopper” to the students. We had a repeat-after-me session where the entire class read the entire script together. My co-teacher did some vocabulary work with them. We then divided up into groups and allowed the students to distribute the roles. The students know their English ability and chose roles according to that. With the lower-level students, my co-teacher and I worked one-on-one with them to make modifications and provide pronunciation assistance. Some students needed to make Korean phonetic notes, whereas with some students, we took out lines from the script.
On the presentation day, students were really excited. Some groups created antennas and other props to enhance their performance. The students’ fluency level demonstrated their dedication and practice. Some students have a more dramatic flair and changed their voices to reflect their character. All in all, it was a successful first Readers Theater. I’m excited to try it again with my fifth and sixth grade classes now.