September 30, 2010

My Marvelous Mentors!

My Kindergarteners made their first group painting today. They painted with watercolors over their leaf texture rubbings. They are still babies (many have not been to preschool) so this creative venture had to be highly organized. I have four 4th grade mentors that help me with every Kindergarten class. If you have been thinking about having mentors I have two words. . . Do it! It is the only way I get anything done in the beginning of the year with Kindergarten. One mentor read a story while another mentor and I slowly called kids over and helped put smocks on. Another directed the Kindergartener to their name. We also had a mentor help at the sink with spills and cleaning water. I gave no lesson about "how to paint" before they started. We simply started painting. The mentors and I gave the Kindergarteners tips during their paint time, "what would happen if you put more water on your brush?" Learning through experience is the only way to keep their tiny attention spans this early in the year.

Check us out in action!


Marcia Beckett said...

That's a good idea to have the mentor read a book to the kids. I have older helpers but I usually have them do little tasks like take down artwork or hang it up, sort things, cut paper, etc.

Phyl said...

I just love this! I know what you mean about the K's - I refer them (lovingly)as my tadpoles, since they haven't yet "grown their legs". Unfortunately, in my school I think it would be a struggle to get the kids regularly released from their class to help because their schedules are so stretched so thin, and scheduling anything extra is a challenge. It's too bad, because the 4th and 5th graders are "Reading Buddies" to the K's so they already know them. But it might be worth a try.
I did have a couple of high school helpers (out of a study hall) for the last couple of years, for a particularly challenging group of kids as they moved from gr3 to gr4. (as 5th graders this year they have finally grown up a bunch!)They were wonderful helpers, helping with 3rd grade papier-mache and 4th grade wampum belt bead weaving. But they are hard to get, because the high school schedule won't easily line up with mine.

Nellie Mae said...

haha. I am jealous. I am ALL kindergarten....I have to be very structured in order to achieve any success.....wish I could have mentors...I teach in a kindergarten center...makes me long for an early retirement!

Unknown said...

I am so lucky to have teachers who can cooperate with me! I haven't had much luck with getting the high schoolers to come.

All Kindergarten! Whew. . . how do you do that Nellie I have to go back and look at your blog as Kindergarten is one of my challenges! I love them but only get 1/2 with them (2-3x a week) and it's hard to fit in projects with mess especially (which is what they need.)