Spring Grade Contract - Mentorship Program

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Jill Katrin

Mentorship Program

Spring Grade Contract

With the culmination of the 1998-99 school year drawing near, I recently began pondering about my involvement as a mentor. I reflected back to one of our training sessions where our group discussed what it meant to be a mentor. Our group characterized a mentor as warm, caring, accepting, a role model, trusted, dependable, honest, willing to share, a friend, someone you can lean on and a confidence builder. I thought about my role as a mentor and the current relationship I share with the children I am mentoring. I also thought about their needs when I began working with them and the goals I set up to work on throughout this school year.

Following the initial training sessions, I began mentoring two students from my second grade classroom. I mentor them every Monday after school for one hour. I have since added one more student to the mentoring sessions. These three students are socially well-adjusted children, but have difficulty with Reading concepts. They really look forward to staying after school on Mondays and the time we spend together. I have noticed a special bond amongst these children. Their general concern and respect for each other has been fun to watch. These mentoring sessions have helped boost their confidence level and self-esteem. They are becoming confident readers.

The initial goals I set up for this program were to: build their confidence in reading, build comprehension skills and reading concepts such as word referents, comparison , inferential questions, main ideas and details. Another goal I had set up was to help the families reinforce what their child was learning in the classroom and mentoring sessions. The final goal I had set up was to incorporate the use of the computers to help with Reading concepts and the writing process.

I feel that the students have all made great progress toward these goals. Their reading comprehension has improved in tests as well as oral discussion. Fluency is expressed during oral reading time. Their long word decoding skills are improving as they are mastering the art of breaking words into parts to phonetically sound them out. The boost in their confidence level has helped throughout. Their detective skills are improving as they scout stories for answers to questions.

The students writing skills improved right along with their reading. Correct sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation was clearly noticed in their writing. Keeping on track with the focus of the story with pertinent details also improved. They also had the opportunity to practice their writing skills on the computer during our sessions. They learned how to make corrections, change font, letter size, etc. I have always felt that Reading and Writing work hand and hand, and these mentoring sessions helped make the connection for these students.

I periodically visit with parents about what the children are working on. I send home word lists, stories, and books to read together. Writing activities often accompany the reading assignments. The parents appreciate my help, and have been very supportive and cooperative throughout this program. They have not only noticed improvement with their childs reading, but also a joy in wanting to read.

Overall, I feel this mentoring program positively impacted the students, their parents, and me. These students achieved the goals I had set up while becoming confident readers. Their interest level in experiencing reading was fun to share with them. I anticipate that these students and families will continue to enjoy the love of reading as they spend time together. I am looking forward to mentoring again next year.

-- Anonymous, May 09, 1999


Hi Jill, CONGRATULATIONS! Your research proposal has been submitted to Ed Lundstrom on Friday, June 4, 1999! A very complete job you have done and I hope you will be glad to share with other cohort members to encourage them along the way. Way to go! Thank you, Mary Ann

-- Anonymous, June 06, 1999

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