Sunday, May 23, 2010

Revisiting Success

In March I wrote about one of my little ones who was struggling to learn her letters. From August until March we were working on differentiating between the letters c and e, trying to get her brain to recognize that because of that small line in between the e, they were not the same letter. In order to teach her I had to keep taking my instruction and dividing in half- going back to the most basic skills at ever step.

I wrote about how long it took her to learn the 9 letters in her name, the steps we took to teach them to her, and how, although we are proud of her progress, we wondered if there was room for such basic fundamental instruction in a high-stakes testing environment.

And yet... now she knows almost all of her letters and their sounds. Because of the strong foundation we gave her with those first few letters, she learned the rest of her letters quickly, not needing the heavy direct instruction we used in the beginning. If you say a word she can, 85% of the time, identify the initial sound and the letter that makes that sound. She makes more progress every day. We created a learner.

We lay the foundation she needed, and taught the child. And she made more progress than we thought was possible.

We taught the child.

Now, how can I do that for every child on my caseload? How can I teach to what they need, so that they have the tools and the foundation to truly learn?

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