February 26, 2017

Student Guest Reader

Meet Sam. Sam was my Guest Reader last week. He read The Amazing Bone by William Steig to our class. He read it fluently, added in voices for the characters and did not stumble on some pretty sophisticated vocabulary.  My cuties were a fantastic audience and when Sam was done with the story they all clapped.
Several years ago Sam was MY student - and he really struggled with reading. He tried SO hard. I gave that boy extra time, lessons and attention. His parents worked with him every night. Although he wanted to unlock the reading magic so badly, it hadn't clicked for him - yet.
Sometimes kids simply need more time than others. Sam is now, several years later, a Harry Potter enthusiast, one of the top readers in his grade and a solid student. He stops by my room a couple of days a week before heading home to chat. He talks about the books he's reading and what's going on in his life. Isn't witnessing this kind of academic growth and making a real friendship connection with a child what teaching is all about?
Do you have guest readers? I always have. Usually it is a student's parent or grandparent who comes in at the end of the day and shares a book. Sam remembered this - and asked if HE could be a guest reader sometime. We picked out a book, he took it home, practiced on his younger sibling and the next day said he was ready. Why had I not thought of this before?? Inviting a student to guest read was a win-win experience.
It was a win for my class - Many recognized him from seeing him in the hall or when he dropped by before heading home and felt like a friend was reading to them. They got to watch a kid, not much older, be a great reader. It was new and different. It was a win for Sam - he took on a leadership role and walked away with a great sense of satisfaction. Recalling his struggle many years ago, I took a video and some pics and sent them to his mom. The smile on his face when he was finished was priceless. You may want to invite a student guest reader too!

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