Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Making Good Use of Volunteers--how??

I had such a thoughtful comment on my last post that I felt it worth throwing another question out into our lovely little cyber-teacher-lounge.

I teach at a Title 1 School and my students have a wide range of abilities and backgrounds. I'm firmly committed to reading and writing workshop models of language arts instruction. For the first time ever, last year, our school had an abundance of adults from local businesses and church groups, who were willing to spend an hour or so each week volunteering. Most of them want to work directly with kids. I wanted them to work with my middle and high readers, but these kids got understandably annoyed when I asked them to read their choice reading books out loud to the volunteers.

What are some of your ideas and experiences in making good use of the time and efforts of adult volunteers (parents or others)? Particularly as a support for reading instruction of older elementary school kids?


Jenny said...

This may be too late for your purposes, but I've been mulling this over and it's taken me a while to figure out what I've done in the past. I finally realized that I've never had volunteers work with my strong readers in reading in fourth or fifth grade. I've always had them work with students in math. Even strong students can play math games and such for extra practice.

Anonymous said...

Teacher from Georgia checking in again. I like how you are using your volunteers to work with your middle and high students. Often these students are left out because so much effort is put towards those who are below grade level. I actually feel that the new "at risk" population are "regular" kids.

Since these kids did not enjoy their time with the volunteers, oral reading is really so old school, how about having the volunteers read the same books the children are so when they come in they can discuss them together. Or how about creating a blog like this so that volunteers and readers can discuss books via the blog....

Average and high readers would really think that is cool and volunteers can "volunteer" 24/7.