Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mrs. Finley's Class reads to Primary Division Students, A Service-Learning Experience

Each trimester Casady seniors take a new English course. Multiple Genre Creative Writing, taught by Whitney Finley, is one of the courses offered during the winter trimester, and students in this course have concluded a unit of study focused on children’s literature.
After spending a few days reading and critiquing children’s literature, the seniors began the process of crafting their own stories. They worked diligently on their projects, and they were conscientious about content, structure, characterization, illustrations, and use of rhetorical devices. The project culminated with an opportunity for the seniors to share their stories with kindergarten children.
“The pressure is on when you know that at the end of your work, you are going to be critiqued by real six-year-olds,” said one of Mrs. Finley's students.
The 2010-11 school year was the first year for this project, and it was such a great success that the kindergarten teachers used the experience as a launching pad for their students to write stories too. This year, plans are underway for Casady kindergarteners to craft their own unique stories and reciprocate a sharing time with seniors in the spring.

Service-Learning Best Practices


K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice

Meaningful Service
Service-learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.
Link to Curriculum
Service-learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.
Service-learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.
Service-learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.
Youth Voice
Service-learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service-learning experiences with guidance from adults.
Service-learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.
Progress Monitoring
Service-learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.
Duration and Intensity
Service-learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes

Kindergarten Students Read to Seniors in Literacy Exchange
Kindergarten student reading to senior students

The second half of the Senior-Kindergarten Literary Exchange took place in April 2015.   In February 2015, the seniors in Mrs. Whitney Finley's English creative writing class composed childrens' books and took them to Primary Division to read to kindergarteners.

This spring, the Primary Division students reciprocated by composing their own stories with illustrations to show and read to the seniors during a lunchtime Literacy Exchange.

The kindergarteners traveled to the Upper Division Quad to meet the seniors in the Dr. John W. Records Science and Art Building and in Cochran Library where they shared lunch, and the kindergarten students read their books to our seniors. This fulfilling activity connected some of the youngest to some of our oldest on campus in our Casady Community.