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April 28, 2014

Reading Partners - Alex Update 4/7/14


Alex and I both find great fun in reading P.D. Eastman’s “Go Dog Go”.  There is something about the dogs driving cars, wearing hats, playing tennis on top of a tall tree and, yes, at least 25 dogs tucked into a single bed for the night that makes Alex and I laugh out loud.

I believe Alex now finds reading fun. The strain of sounding out each word is easing.  His fluency has improved.  He looks for clues in the pictures if he gets stuck on a word or he does his best to either sound the word out or even guess.  A guess is okay.  He is trying.  He can rattle off the vowels “a, e, i, o and u and sometimes y’.  The ‘sometimes y’ confuses him.  Long and short vowels are no longer his nemesis.  And that silent ‘e’ at the end of many words now remains silent when he reads.

As Alex finds reading less taxing, his world of books is broadening.  He enjoys selecting a book to read and looks for subjects that spark his interest instead of books with few words

Amazing how reading intervention does give a boost to the student’s ability and confidence.  Throughout the year teachers at Sequoyah have filled Alex’s school week with reading.  From classroom lessons, DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read), a reading intervention class, library time to Reading Partners, Alex is catching up with classmates who reading came a bit easier.

Alex and his fellow second graders will not face a Common Core reading test this year.  He will have some form of a reading assessment test toward the end of the year.  And, he should. His teachers, parents and Alex deserve to marvel at his improvements and create a reading ‘game plan’ for the summer.

At this time next year, when Alex is a third grader, he will face the Common Core Reading Test; 2 days of testing, 60 questions, probably several hours at his desk coloring in the bubbles on the answer sheet with a #2 pencil.  My guess is the teachers will break up those hours into one hour or less segments.  And hopefully breaks are taken outside on the playground so students can run, wiggle, jump and swing.  Two days of testing is tough at any age.

Beginning of the year test evaluations tagged approximately 40 Sequoya third graders as reading “unsatisfactorily”. Besides classroom reading lessons, those students have spent at least 45 minutes a day working on the Scholastic Reading Inventory System 44 computer program to sharpen their reading skills.  Many also attended a school reading intervention class.  And all worked one on one with a Reading Partners tutor each week. Each person, whether a teacher, parent or Reading Partners tutor, who has sat down with one of the 40 third graders this year to read a book believe that student deserves to walk through the door of a fourth grade classroom next fall with their classmates.

CLICK HERE to read Reading Partners Installment #1.

CLICK HERE to read Reading Partners Installment #2.

CLICK HERE to read Reading Partners Installment #3.

Source / Tulsa Kids / Karen Moult

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