Friday, April 19, 2013

No Better Feeling in a Teacher's World

I have a student this year who is The Little Engine That Could. He came to 3rd grade unable to speak coherently. He would babble animatedly and we would have to listen very hard to initial consonants to try and figure out what he was saying. We knew he was an identified exceptional needs student, but after one day of school we knew we would be digging into our toolboxes to help him learn.

He was a nonreader. Now he is a level F. He wants to read all of the time to everyone he sees! He used to use the string of letters eyeyeyeyey no matter what he was writing. Now he has published 2 books--one personal narrative book about swimming and one nonfiction book about flies. I wrote a previous post about this student titled The Reason.

I pulled the student over yesterday to conference during Reading Workshop. I asked to see his My Reading Life Log. He brought it over and proudly told me that he was filling it out all by himself.

His log in September

His log yesterday, April 18

The entire date (M-D-Y) is written by him. The genre is not correct. The book levels range from a C (read independently) to an H (read to). The titles are written by him. His time for reading ranges from 20 to 45 minutes! His page numbers are sometimes inverted. He has a variety of read to, read with, and read independently.
Everyone who knows this student is excited for his progress. The special needs teachers who work with him celebrate his growth. His speech therapist shares his progress. The literacy facilitator writes him notes. The principal gives stickers when the student comes to his office to read to him. The secretary claps when she hears him read. The teaching assistants congratulate him when they see him read.
There is no better feeling in a teacher's world than when the reading spark ignites in a student. This is why I love teaching reading.

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