Third-graders take the day to teach

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2003

&uot;Pay attention, now,&uot; Lauren Wiggins said to the restless kindergartner, Halley Watson.

But ironically, Lauren is a third-grader at Troy Elementary School.

Most of the time teachers would be the ones telling this to students.

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But Wednesday at Troy Elementary School third graders took on that role as they read out loud to kindergartners as part of their enrichment class.

&uot;Now he's a bear and he wanted to work and couldn't decide on an occupation,&uot; said Lauren as she explains to Halley the book she has chosen to read: My Teddy Bear At Work. &uot;But in the end he decides to be a stay-at-home bear.&uot;

While keeping the kindergarten class's attention proved to be difficult at times, Cindy Miller, enrichment instructor for TES said the program was beneficial to all.

&uot;It really provides (the third-graders) a chance to practice on other kids the skills the they have learned,&uot; she said. &uot;And the kindergartners love it, too.&uot;

The third-graders chose books on a third-grade reading level that would also be of interest to a kindergarten-age listener.

The class included third-graders from Dawn Mosley, Carol Stuart and Misty Curtis' classes.

To help keep the kindergartners' interest, the third-graders also prepared &uot;bag book reports&uot; along with their book to provide a visual 3-D element to their storytelling.

Everything from sticks to quarters to soap and toothpaste were included in the bags.

&uot;Whatever their book was about, they brought,&uot; Miller said. &uot;In essence, the third graders became a teacher for a day.&uot;

She said that while they had fun, some of the third graders confessed to being a little nervous.

&uot;They really had to prepare themselves,&uot; she said. &uot;It was a good teaching tool, a sort of across-the-curriculum-grade peer tutoring program.&uot;

Miller said to follow the success of this program, she hopes to have the kindergartners read to some of her fifth-grade enrichment classes.

&uot;We thought it would be good to do a sort of vice versa here,&uot; she said. &uot;The kindergartners were real attentive and I think they will get a lot out of it.&uot;