Five senior interns at Mechanicsville Elementary School in Carroll County recognized different needs of their students and acted upon those needs. Two teams of interns created a “Lunch Bunch” for their students to provide students extra practice during their lunch time once a week.

Meghan Moore, Ashley Zester, and Savannah Read meet with twenty third-grade students every week (one group of ten on Tuesdays and the other group of ten on Thursdays). These three interns created a phonics intervention for struggling students using the county’s “Fundation” program. In order to create learning activities for the students, the interns mastered five Fundations units. After that, they created four games for students to play in groups: Bingo, Matching, Fly Swatter, and Old Maid. Every Lunch Bunch period, students break up into two groups and play a different game. Halfway through the period, the students switch games. By the fifth week, students had played each game multiple times, allowing them to practice different skills. These skills vary from open and closed syllables, multisyllabic words, glued sounds, suffixes, different letter sounds, and vowel consonant e words. This Lunch Bunch took a great deal of preparation from the interns, and offered an engaging way for students to review basic third grade phonics skills.

Brianna Finch and Danielle Fieni conduct a Lunch Bunch with twelve first-grade students, meeting with six students on Tuesdays and six students on Thursdays. Two students come from each of the first grade classrooms in order to meet each teacher’s needs. The focus of the Lunch Bunch is on improving students’ fact fluency in order to aid in their success within the classroom. A main goal is to help improve upon the students’ confidence. During the Lunch Bunch, students complete an activity, such as Addition BINGO or Subtraction Slides. Over a four-week period, Danielle and Brianna saw major improvements among the students’ fact fluency abilities. These improvements were also seen in the classroom as well, affirming the success of the Lunch Bunch.

By seeing a need and acting upon it, all of the interns were able to plan and devise activities that allowed them to help at-risk students find confidence and success in the classroom.

(Contributed by Danielle Newill, Meghan Moore, and Danielle Fieni)