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December 6, 2013

Reading Partners – Meeting and getting to know Alex and our first reading session…

Editor’s Note: TulsaKids Education Columnist Karen Moult will be sharing her experience with Tulsa Reading Partners. Read below to find out more about it. 

This article appears in the Web 2013 issue of Tulsa Kids

Alex is in second grade at Sequoyah. He lives in the neighborhood, has an older brother and sister and two dogs. His family moved to Tulsa from Mexico a number of years ago. Between sniffles (he had a bad cold) he told me about school, his family and what he likes to do. Playing outside is tops followed by riding bikes and playing video games. He can’t wait for the first snowfall so he can have his buddies over for a “sleepover and a big snowball fight”. During our first session (a get to know each other hour) I read him a book he selected from the bookshelves entitled “Froggy’s Christmas Adventure”. He listened intently and offered thoughts on the book and its animal characters. We made a pact to read the whole “Froggy” series. Next we played a scavenger hunt game in the room. He was to locate different items, posters and books throughout the room. When he located an item he checked it off on the paper and if he was asked to write something down, he did so, very carefully. Alex has very good penmanship and wants to discover the answer to a question. He is a thinker. Our first session flew by. I walked him back to his classroom, Ms. Hasty’s second grade classroom. On the way he pointed out his locker. We said our goodbyes and he stuffed his hands in his front pockets and shuffled to his desk chair. Alex is one of 23 students in Ms. Hasty’s class.

Monday I gathered Alex from Ms. Hasty’s room for our first reading/work session. He shyly smiled, stuffed his hands in his front pockets and we walked down the hall to the Reading Partners room. Meaghan, Sequoyah Reading Partners site coordinator, had our reading work ready for us to dive into but first I read “Froggy Goes to Camp” to Alex. Alex actively listened and initiated conversation about the book.

We began our first reading packet, tackling letters/sounds “d, l, w and x” and the words “get” and “you”. Alex sounded out site words that began with “d, l, w and x” and he wrote sentences in his “writing journal” using the words “get” and “you”. He is very meticulous about his writing and wants to form his letters correctly. And he is not intimidated with spelling. Next Alex read me a book that contained many words that began with the lesson’s letters. I noticed that when he struggled with a word he would lose his place in the sentence or page. He also guessed at a word by sounding out only the first several syllables. He had very little inflection in his voice when reading aloud. He basically read word to word. One reason we read to our student at the beginning of each session is for them to hear the inflection in our voice as we read a sentence. The hour flew by and Alex had to return to his classroom. Next week we will finish reading the book, discuss the book and tackle a worksheet. That’s after I read to him another “Froggy” adventure.

After walking Alex back to Ms. Hasty’s classroom, I asked Meaghan for a bit of teaching reading guidance. In regards to Alex losing his place in a sentence or on a page in a book he is reading, she suggested he point to each word while he is reading. Alex also receives “reading intervention” by a reading teacher at Sequoyah during each school day. Lot’s of people want Alex to feel comfortable with a book. I cannot imagine it won’t happen. Alex made the effort in our first session.

Click here to read her introduction post.


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