First-Graders, Older Kids Team Up in Writing Class

Article excerpt

Byline: Jenny Mitrenga

Incorporating real-life teaching into classroom instruction, Wheeling High School junior and senior Honors Advanced Writing students took part in the first Windsor Elementary School exchange program.

On April 18, 25 first-graders stepped foot into WHS and defied traditional educational standards. The first-grade students marked the beginning of the program that's expected to continue and grow in the future.

The initial intention of the experience was to allow the high school students to visit Windsor and work individually with a younger student. But after schedule conflicts and time restrictions, it was decided that the elementary school students would take a field trip to the high school and take advantage of the EGHS's extensive Calliope writing lab.

"I really liked my tutor and being around all of the high school kids," says first-grader Kevin Hill. "It was one of my favorite field trips."

Together, the high school student and the elementary school student wrote two poems about aspects pertaining to the Earth. Then, with the help of various art programs on EGHS's computer, students were able to "spice up" their writings with detailed pictures of topics relating to their specific poem.

"The first-graders had a one-on-one working relationship with someone. Plus, they got a chance to use their writing and technology skills," says Nancy Slowinske, first-grade teacher at Windsor. …