"The Magic School Bus was shrinking, shrinking, shrinking, SHRUNK!"
The students in this class come from socioeconomically diverse urban backgrounds. Their attitudes toward learning, in general, seemed positive, despite their widely varied reading level diagnoses. Their mClass TRC/F&P levels ranged from C (proficient for grade 1 this time of year) to U (proficient for a 5th grader). All of them were eager to learn the subject of honey bees, and excitedly raised their hands to participate during every section of the lesson.
Text The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive
One task completed in this lesson was the mulitsensory vocabulary lesson. It included coloring words, specific words within definitions, and pictures yellow, then mimicking gross motor actions while voicing vocabulary words. What did not work: I forgot to have them color their associated pictures. What did work: the gross motor motions were enough for all of them to score 100% on the post-lesson vocabulary assessment.
How many more days has the guard bee been alive than the nurse bee? 18 - 4 =
In presenting just one whole class lesson, ongoing relationships and assessments are not possible for this assignment. The teacher skills and qualities listed in the text which were applicable here were combining instruction methods, believing every student can learn to read, and attentively coaching students through reading and writing skills (DeVries, 2015, p.21). This focus worked as it helped the students comprehend enough to critically consider the impact of honey bees on their own society.
The text's readability is rated as follows: Guided Reading: P, Lexile: AD520L, grades: K-5. The book was recommended by my CT, and since it was a bit more advanced readability than many students' capabilities in the class, I chose to read it to them. Student interest level was high in that they were engaged and enthusiastic throughout the lesson. Comprehension levels reflected this with perfect scores on vocabulary assessment and great participation in higher order thinking discussions post-lesson.
Integrating math, science, and reading skills to explore these social insects provided a more enriching learning experience than solely reading about them. We discussed the worker bees' jobs, ages, effects on society, and other factors concerning bees. This interdisciplinary lesson paired well with my CT's regular inclusion of a long reading block and reading multiple sources of text in varied ways all day. Her integrative, multi-source, multi-skilled reading focus is meant increase their reading skills optimally.
Students were paired with partners for attention and comprehension purposes, although the lesson was taught to the whole class. All of the students briefly discussed their own experiences with bees, and their collective experiences were plentiful. Ongoing questioning throughout the reading of the book prepared them for critical thinking follow-up. The students' enthusiasm and successful comprehension of the text and vocabulary showed the environment to be conducive to learning.