sábado, marzo 05, 2005



i do an after-school reading group with ten students. why ten? because in january, all were below or barely at the suggested mid-year first-grade reading level. yes, that's half my class. we have one official class left next wednesday and then it's up to me whether i continue to do it.

one of my kids doesn't need it anymore. he's finally become confident enough in his reading that he's easily jumped two levels to exactly where he needs to be. another girl is right on target, too, she just lacks self-confidence. i'll probably do more one-on-one with her in class. but of course, my main concern are the other eight who are in danger of being retained. at parent conferences on monday, i have to make their parents sign the paperwork informing them of this possibility.

to watch my own back as well as to assess my and my students' progress, i decided to retest several of them on friday (i was out wed and thurs for trainings). the results made me want to cry. my absolute lowest reader in january has jumped four levels. she could probably read at the next level but i ran out of time. this means i don't even need to talk about retention. praise the lord. another child near her level in january has jumped three levels. i'm not saying i'm a miracle worker, i've still got a couple that haven't made as much progress as i'd like and i'll probably have to whip out all the paperwork for them, but it is so rewarding to see their improvement. sometimes i feel like a slave-driver, other times i feel like a slacker. i don't do guided reading every day, sometimes i don't even manage every other day. i don't give my highest readers a lot of one-on-one attention. i pawn a lot of my lowest readers on tutors and mentors and hope they take my lessons and instructions to heart. but i am very demanding with the quality of their work, they have at least one homework assignment EVERY DAY (regular spelling assignments Mon-Thurs, math homework Tues and Thurs, and science Wed), we do shared reading weekly, and we do word study like it's going out of style.

i think i've decided i'm staying in first grade. at the risk of being ridiculously touchy-feely, may i find greater balance in the next year and become the best teacher i can be.

Kudos to you for hanging in, keeping your head up, setting goals and doing right by those kiddos! I wish there were more like you.
Good for you!!
Congrats on your students' achievements! It's always a good feeling when you can see results right away. Keep it up!
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