Actually the title should be “First class with student” singular. My other student was a no-show. Voice mails left and emails were sent, if she doesn’t show up tomorrow someone will be pulled from the waiting list.
I thought it was an okay first day. A brief full class meeting with some last minute info and three book talks:
- Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo & Alison McGhee and illustrated by Tony Fucile
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
- Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
This reminded me that I have to do a book share tomorrow. . . I’m not sure what I will share. Perhaps The Ring of Solomon, by Jonathan Stroud. I just finished it and, while it is technically listed as #4 in the Bartimaeus books, it can be read on it’s own, especially as, chronologically, it takes place prior to the first three.
We then broke into our smaller groups, where we did not spend much time before being allowed to check out our tutoring space and get ready for the arrival of the students. I’m sharing a classroom with another grad student. We set up in opposite corners of the room (I grabbed the spot near the window nook, not as great as it sounds). I pulled some desks around in a triangle and slide the others away so we wouldn’t feel smooshed and took out the books I’d taken out of our library on Friday and some other materials. Then I wrote my plan for the day on the board and headed down to where the students and parents were gathering.
I called out both names but only had one student present. We headed upstairs chatting a bit about what sports he did and things like that. Nothing took as long as I had planned. Part of this was because there should have been two students so discussions and such didn’t take as long. The other part is that I don’t usually spend that much 1:1 time with a student, I’m not that great at small talk, and never really know what to talk about.
I charged right in though and asked if he liked to read or write. He said no, he didn’t really like to read. Okay, so working on motivation and providing some positive reading experiences can go on the to do list for these four weeks. We made some sad name-tags, just our names on them while we chatted. Then I decided to add a bit of color and he did the same.
We met the other tutors and students outside for a couple of ice breaker activities.
On the way back we had a tour, there is the bathroom, there is the water fountain, there is the library – all in the same hall as the room we are using, sweet. In the library I asked him to pick a book he might want to read and one that was a favorite growing up. I choose Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson, one of my favorites. He chose I Spy Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold, and Hatchet by Gary Paulson. I modeled the activity by reading my choice aloud and talking about why I liked it and why I still like it, some of the double meanings, such as when Harold “makes land” in his boat, he hits the shore (making land in the seafaring lexicon) but he also draws the land his boat hits (so he is actually creating land); I was surprised and impressed when my student pointed out another example in “drew up the covers”. He read his book and I noticed that he read pretty well, he self corrected a couple times, paused here and there after turning the page. One thing that we’ll work on is intonation, reading with feeling, everything he read was pretty much the same tone. This could simply be because he was self-conscious but it could be that he’s concentrating on decoding and making meaning and can’t provide feeling or emphasis while reading.
I asked him to answer a couple questions on a handout (I shared my answers first),
- Why are you here? (My mom made me. Why? Because my sister came.)
- What do you expect to happen during this time? (to read and write)
- What do you hope? (That this is fun)
- Any questions? (no)
I asked him which area was the most challenging, reading or writing. He said writing but I learned that he was really talking about his penmanship. He also said that he does well in school but doesn’t like it. He said that it was better to do the work than have to go to summer school. Based on my observations today I would say he falls in the Basic Stage of Literacy Development and our major reading goal will be:
- Providing motivation to read through positive reading experiences and helping him to see himself as a reader.
It will be interesting where the other student is her Literacy Development and how I will approach the different needs at the same time.
Tomorrow I give the IRI and will see if my observations are correct.