Saturday, May 23, 2009

The house that reading built

(Why am I writing this entry at 4:30 am? Because I'm awake battling a fever, sore throat and chills. I'm not saying I have the H1N1 virus...I'm just sayin'.)

It's running record time again, and I'm pleased to report that I moved my Polish-speaking Lukas from level D to E. He happily rushed off to "move his person" (a little stick figure with his name on it) from the D envelope to the E envelope, and then he went to the classroom library to do what we call "shopping for books." From the other side of the bookshelf, I could hear him humming busily to himself as he dumped all the D books out of his book baggie and then stashed them back in the D bin with a chirpy, "Bye-bye, D books! See ya later!"

So cute.

How is everyone else doing? Azul, who started the year at B, is now an I, and I have high hopes he'll be a J when I meet with him again next week -- which means that even though he's behind where he should be at the end of second grade, he's still made more than an entire year's worth of progress in his first full school year in America. My first L reader is now an N -- and if you're thinking N is a third grade reading level (not to mention a letter I never thought I'd see in Academic Intervention Services), you're correct!

(Last week I subbed for a class and one of the kids, who was briefly in my reading group but has since returned to his teacher's, told me I was the "bestest substitute teacher ever." Then he congratulated me on finally having M readers in my group. This kid, I swear, is like 8 going on 40.)

It's not all so rosy. Neel is still stuck at C, and probably will be until his parents finally consent to a special ed placement. It's now the end of his fifth year at our school, and he is officially my lowest reader. Even my ELLs, who arrived in this country in September with no English, are at least D readers.

My K readers are struggling to move to L. The L running record story is about some kids who put their mother's lipstick all over their face and then get the bright idea to pretend they have chicken pox so they don't have to go to school. For two days straight last week I listened to reader after reader tell me, "First they put their mother's lipstick on their face and then they got chicken pox." Aargh!

Finally, on an unrelated note: When I noticed last week that one of my students was unusually moody, I took her aside to ask what was up, and she launched into this painfully adolescent litany of woes that sounded straight out of Mean Girls, only second grade-sized. The funny thing was that it all sounded seriously familiar, as though the patterns of girl friendship haven't changed much since I was in second grade, or probably for hundreds of years. It was the same old "Ariella is supposed to be my friend but I don't understand why she's mean to me but then when I'm not around she's nice to Tara" and "Danyelis is always saying that Ariella is her first best friend and Tara is her second best friend but I'm only her third best friend." But don't fret! We, like, totally girl-talked it out and hopefully she'll be able to move on.


Sarah said...

Hope you're feeling better! Love the story about Lukas - so cute!!

Joanne Jacobs said...

When my daughter was in college, she found the middle-school journal in which she tracked her friendships. She started laughing and pointed to an entry: "Yael is no longer my fourth best friend!"