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Two Writing Teachers
This year, I have three of those students (now 5th graders) in a small group. I started out the year excited to see them... forgetting how tough the end of last year was. I let them know that I had picked them specifically to work with me - we would be working with a new intervention program, and we were going to be talking about books....ALL THE TIME.
I talked with them about writing about books in a journal. They decided that each of them would pick a day to write: Mon, Weds, Fri. They were good about it the first week (especially after I gifted them a beautiful - yet inexpensive - new journal), and they are working to get back in the habit.
The girls are really trying their best when they come. I am being patient and helpful. I'm modeling and asking more questions. I give them time to discuss what they are thinking while we read. Some of our small but significant successes:
- S has finished!!! reading THREE graphic novels (this is the same girl who announced "I don't like books" - while B gasped in horror - during our first meeting).
- S has encouraged T and B to also read graphic novels (Babymouse and Smile top the list)
- B has reminded S that we all need a turn to talk. She is the model for waiting and not interrupting.
- T is carrying many books (old habits die hard), but she is concentrating on reading Double Fudge and working hard to understand the story.
- T is our lead note-taker. She understands how to find evidence in the text. She helps S and B do the same in a kind way.
Today I was given a chocolate bar from S. It even had a little bow. I profusely thanked her. Later, I wrote a thank you note to each of the girls, pointing out how they've been working hard and contributing to our small group discussions on books.
Does every day roll smoothly with these girls? Nope. Do we all want to accomplish the same thing? Yes. They know they are off to junior high next year, and there's not much time to become more confident and proficient readers.
I'm happy to help.