Just a quick note today…

Our exchange student wrote up a beautiful piece about how she had despaired of having any friends here in America, until she became a hockey cheerleader! I thought it was a wonderful story, but it was too long for the kids. Of course, I embedded it, and started by doing some predictions with the structures that we would find in the story. I ended up pre-telling her experience, leaving out a bunch of the details. 

Then I handed out the three levels of reading. The first was widely spaced, but took up a page. I asked the kids to use a marker to highlight everything they understood, then I walked around as they worked to see how they were doing. 

I’d forgotten what a helpful tool that highlighter can be. The more advanced kids were getting it all. A couple of kids were getting only patchwork. That meant that I had made it too complex for them, of course (these are second-year kids, incorrectly placed in the advanced class for scheduling reasons). I could help them with words and phrases that I was sure they’d know so that they didn’t feel too lost. 

For the rest, I could see how fast they read, and when some were all the way through, I suggested they continue reading on the more complex levels. Fascinating to figure out what the holes are; I also found out that reading takes longer than I might expect.

Tomorrow we’ll follow up on this reading. 


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