Pre-K and Kindergarten (pre-K/K) are essential to the foundation of a person’s education. Once that foundation is laid, and laid firmly through care, patience, and persistence, the building can begin and continue for a lifetime.
Branching out from the basic phonemic awareness and letter identification at Ridgetop Elementary School in Ridgetop, Tenn., gradually led to using new phonics skills to put sounds together in simple words for the pre-K/K students.
After simple words came a fun activity called Vowel Surgery. Within a few more months of word studies, phoneme reviews, and leveled readers, it was time to prep the “operating room.”
While the pre-K/K students were at recess, their teacher, Shannon Armantrout, transformed the classroom into an operating room; changed into nurses’ scrubs, gloves, hat, and surgical mask; and ran outside with a siren. “Emergency! Emergency!” she said. “Please come help me. I need doctors.” The students froze, confused, but when they began to realize what was going on, they ran over quickly. Armantrout explained, “I have patients in here that need your help to be put back together. They’ve lost their vowels. We must have a doctors’ meeting immediately to discuss how to help them. Meet me in library right away.”
In the library, the students reviewed the five vowels. Once everyone was appropriately dressed for surgery, charts with a page for each patient stapled inside were distributed. The doctors were then paired up and began operating. It was slow at first as they became acclimated to the activity and what needed to be done. But, they began to quickly locate the missing vowels, place them on the word, and then record their findings in their charts. In the end, all patients were stable and recovering well, thanks to the help of 10 doctors working hard to return vowels to their appropriate place.
It’s always exciting to learn in a new and fun way!
Kentucky-Tennessee | June 2017