Remember Azul, my Arabic B reader who was desperate to move up to level C? Azul was 100% convinced that he was ready. So I sat him down to do a running record. I think we were both feeling the same way: excited, but nervous! (Azul: "I so scared! I really want be C!")
Well, Azul didn't move to C.
He moved to D.
D!!!!! I have students who have been at my school for three years and haven't moved to D. Needless to say, Azul was pleased. OK, scratch that -- Azul was thrilled. He pumped his fists. He clapped his hands. He did a little happy dance all the way over to the D book bin.
Later on, I saw Azul in the hallway. "Thank you for D!" he called out to me.
I stopped. I turned to look at his beaming face. I pointed at him. "You should be thanking yourself," I said, "for working hard."
Azul nodded solemnly. Then he drew a letter E in the air with his finger. "Next we go to E!" he chirped.
I was thinking about giving my students pencils or trinkets as gifts this holiday season. But what I really wish I could give them is motivation like Azul's.