Students in Mrs. Knapp’s fourth-grade class have participated in Reader’s Theater productions since the beginning of the school year, and this past Thursday, their talents shined in front of the school and the community during All-School Morning Meeting. Reader’s Theater is a means of developing fluency, in which students participate in skits and plays modeled on some of their favorite childhood tales. Students choose a part in the story, and the class acts out the story, with each student reading the lines of their specific character. Mrs. Knapp says that this activity develops students’ ability to pronounce words, to read with proper voice and tone, and to properly navigate punctuation and dialogue within a story. “The stories are so fun for them that they don’t even realize that they’re working on fluency,” Mrs. Knapp explained.
Students in Mrs. Knapp’s class also get used to performing for authentic audiences. So far this year, on separate occasions, students in Mrs. Knapp’s fourth-grade literacy class have performed for our pre-K classes, as well as for their first-grade buddies. The younger students love hearing stories with which they are familiar, and they really enjoy having the older kids perform for them. Around the holidays, students performed The Grinch and were extremely well-received by the first grade and pre-K classes.
This past Thursday, Mrs. Knapp’s class performed for their largest audience yet — the entire elementary school, plus parents and community members that attended All-School Morning Meeting. Students borrowed costumes from the middle/high school drama club, created signs and props, and rehearsed The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, by John Scieszka, three separate times before performing in front of a packed house in the elementary school gymnasium. This story was originally published in 1989 and casts the menacing wolf of the original Three Little Pigs story in a more benevolent, compassionate light. In a display of student leadership, flexible learning environments, and authentic audience, Mrs. Knapp’s homeroom performed The True Story of the Three Little Pigs with great enthusiasm and confidence. As was clear to all members of the audience, Reader’s Theater is an opportunity for students to proudly demonstrate their fluency in an engaging setting, all the while preparing our middle/high school drama production stars of years to come.
Target 1 – Proficiency-Based Personalized Learning FWSU students and staff design and engage in proficiency-based personalized learning that integrates collaborative inquiry, problem solving, and creativity.
Action Step -Support proficiency for all learners in student-centered, collaborative, digitally -rich learning environments
Indicators of Success – Teachers customize their instructional strategies using a range of information about individual learners so that learning opportunities are matched to learner needs, strengths, and interests.