Reading is everything. Once they get past this stage where they learn how to read, every subject is going to depend on reading.
Sometimes it takes mixing things up to realize how versatile we can be. Listen to this episode (click play button above) to hear Jennifer Fontaine and Megan O’Dell discuss how their unique partnership helped them and their students learn and grow.
It all began when Jennifer’s six preps on a rotating schedule and the responsibility of preparing for three All County events became overwhelming. On the verge of being burnt out, Jennifer spoke to her principal to ask for assistance. To her principal’s credit, she knew she needed to find a solution or she might lose a great teacher.
Thinking outside the box, Principal Junella Kriel paired Jennifer (a fourth through eighth grade orchestra teacher) with Megan (a second grade teacher) to assist with her reading focus group. Four days a week, Jennifer pushed into Megan’s reading group to assist with phonics and vocabulary. Using song lyrics, a ukulele and highlighters the pair taught the students how to identify rhyming words and improve their reading skills.
The two teachers, who didn’t previously know each other, developed a deep respect and admiration for one another. Their discussion about the collaboration is inspiring, so we hope you’ll listen.
As mentioned in the podcast – the videos below showcase the special guests that appeared in the 2018 and 2019 end-of-year orchestra concerts.
Must see the T-rex conductor
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
ABOUT THE GUESTS–
Jennifer Fontaine teaches orchestra at Blankner School, assists in a second-grade reading class and is on the STEAM committee.
Megan O’Dell teaches second grade at Blankner School and is also a STEAM committee member.