Writing with the Writing Teachers

Staying with the idea of blogging with the writing teachers on Tuesdays, even though it’s Wednesday now, NY time, I am floored by how quickly another Tuesday rolls around.

It is difficult to unravel  a moment out of my day, especially with a long evening meeting. I remember student faces, kids walking to intervention, teachers in the staff room, and a staff meeting…

I am waiting for the focus, but mostly I want to close my eyes and think how nice it is that, after two 12 hour days in a row, tomorrow will be a “minimum” day.  What about today stands out?

I think it was my last intervention class of the day, when a fourth grader comes in from SDC.  R. and I began working on his reading at the beginning of the school year, before I had LLI materials and training.  I used ELD songs and big books to try to get some fluency and circumvent a way that R. was processing.  He would just get mired by his own efforts at decoding text — especially above first grade level.  But the music helped him move on and we played locating words…putting on head phones and running iTunes off my school laptop also felt special and important to him.

He and I developed a relationship and R. even offered to come in at his lunch recess on our minimum day so that he could read with me.  He made marked progress with the LLI because I could give him just right texts and prompt him clearly.  It is perfect for him to be working solo, without the pressure of younger children who can read “better.”  When the library sale was on, R. bought two bags of popcorn from the concession for me. An honor!

Today I had R. use a folded sticky note, pushing it across the text he was reading.  I pushed it first, as I learned in LLI training.  It is a technique some children need for awhile, putting together their processing systems.  Pushing is dramatically helpful to R. Then I turned the pushing over to R. and I took a running record, several levels above where he started.  His reading was 97% accurate with great comprehension.  Good self-correction ratio.  Mostly fluent.

I have a hard time describing how painful it was at the beginning of the year to listen to R. read.  So, today, his clear, clean read of an LLI book was to me close to miraculous.  At least worthy of celebration.  A little lilt in my step and a big commendation to R. for his hard work and progress.

And gratitude for a little trick that helps this particular student.

His happiness is really what shines through that work with him.

7 thoughts on “Writing with the Writing Teachers”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this. Working with a student one to one can be SO key in helping them gain confidence and trust in themselves and the teacher. (I may be biased as i am atrained, if not practicing, reading recovery teacher). You really conveyed the building of taht relationship and the resulting success here! thathttp://parentingandpedagogy.blogspot.com/?m=1

  2. Good news at the end of a long day! Can you say more about how you use the sticky note?? When you say you push it across the text, do you mean underneath the words or over the words??

    1. Elisa,
      The square note is folded in fourths. Then the strip is pushed left to right over the line of text, pushing just ahead of the reader’s voice. Pausing or re-swiping over text when needed. The teacher does this for awhile to see if it helps and to train the student, otherwise students may make it a pointer or distraction.

      1. Thanks for this description. I do this by running my finger under the line of text. I find it helps kids moving rather than stopping at every word and then losing meaning as a result.

  3. Definitely news to celebrate! It takes hard work and it sounds like R has learned the art of perseverance and it is snowballing into success! Enjoy this high point of your week!

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