Seeing the Growth

| February 23, 2011

This year I was lucky enough to be able to work with one of my buddies for a second year. He was held back and had to repeat the first grade. When I began working with him he was drastically different than his first year. When I first met him he barely spoke. When I observed his class on Fridays he was not engaged in any of the lessons. During writing assignments and spelling tests he would just write letters without trying to write the word. For a whole year we worked on learning letters and sounds. By the end of our first year he was putting two letters together.

This year he seemed very different. As soon as I walked into the classroom he began talking to me. When I was working with other students in his class he came up and asked why I wasn’t helping him. This was drastically different from last year when he would give no affect when I picked him up for our sessions. After speaking with his teacher she was extremely glad to hear that his progress from last year was exponentially better. Being a new teacher to this grade level she did now know the kids prior to this year. Having a Reading Buddy tell her how much progress a student made from last year provided necessary background information.

When we first met, he was at a reading level of AA. Currently he is a level C; able to read beginner books with great fluency and speed. This past week was his highest success. Since I knew that he got frustrated easily when words became difficult we would work through books slower. After reading a book I clearly knew he could read he asked to read a book about Harriet Tubman. Many of the bibliography books tend much more difficult to read but to my surprise he was able to read it. He was so interested in the book that even though he didn’t know some of the words he wanted to keep reading. He began talking about slavery and engaging in discussions about the book. He was comprehending the history he was reading and applying what he was reading to the present. It was amazing. Last year he was only interested in computer work. This year he is much more engaged in his reading material. I can’t wait to see where he goes from here!