Saturday, February 16, 2008

This is what I'm doing

Now you know I haven’t been on here as much as I would like to be lately and I have to tell you that it is mostly PK’s fault and I thank her. She gave me some wonderful teaching hints that seem to be working but they are time consuming on my part.

Here is what I have found out about my third graders so far. They cannot read the books their teachers send that are on the third grade level. They do NOT want to try to read them aloud and when they try they seem to not hear or understand what they have read and they do NOT want to read ‘baby books’. So this is mostly how my ‘lessons’ go. I read the 3rd grade books to them and we discuss them, what happened, what we think is going to happen and sometimes how we would have changed the ending to make it better!

I went to the kindergarten teacher and ask if my children could read to theirs once a week, one on one. There are several programs similar to this in the school but my little ones (the fairly poor readers) were not participating. Now in order to get ready to read to these younger children, my little ones must pick out a ‘baby book’ that they think some one in kindergarten would like. Then we ‘practice’ reading them aloud to each other to make sure we are reading with feeling for our ‘audience’ they are growling and making faces and really getting into these little easy books. But they are reading – and liking it!

The second idea PK sent me was to let the children tell me a story. I pick a topic each week and while others are getting a library book each one tells me a short story, about their pet this week. I type the story and then when I get the chance (and why I have no time to blog!) I type up the story that they have told me in their own words. I get pictures off the internet to illustrate what they have told me and make a title sheet with the name of the title and, most importantly, the BY: _____________ they seem to love seeing their names in print. They love to read these stories to each other and seem amazed at some of the big words they really know and since they are reading their own story the can get many of the harder words in context. Now that they see what they are doing they seem to try to talk in ‘bigger’ words so it is helping their vocabulary too!! I am so excited to see their excitement. But you can imagine no faster than I type it is all I can do to keep up with them and find pictures – well now you know where my time is going!

Tom seems really proud of me. I love that! I have never for a minute doubted his love for me but to sit with him and explain what I am doing and see his interest and respect, well that makes me feel so very special.

There you have it. I am working harder that I ever have before, I love it, but I am tired. Tom does not fuss about me getting off the computer when he thinks I am working on school work so I can stay up later and he really doesn’t know when I have switched from working to emailing and blogging LOL, so some of you may be hearing from me late at night. The only problem is that I have to get up way earlier that a person should have to to begin the next day! This is fun but I will not be sorry to see summer come! See I sound like a teacher already!


Lori said...

Those are really great ideas and to watch you implement them in your own style is very exciting. How rewarding to know that you have made a difference in the lives of so many. You have challenged students who are benefiting greatly from what you are doing. Tom has every right to beam at your efforts. There was no doubt that he would fully support you. Congrats too on finding a loophole to your blogging time, LOL.

Sara said...

Cassie, teaching children, and helping them find a pleasure in reading is so very important. Something that will last their whole lives. You also clearly care for those little ones, and believe in them. They will feel it, know it, and remember it. That kind of investment will last their whole lives too. Tom must indeed be so very proud!

mthc said...

Cassie that is so awesome. Along with Tom We're so proud of you.
You will make an unforgettable difference with the children that will last forever.

New Beginnings said...

Don't tell them I am the reason you are not on much they will come after me with torches and pitchforks before they read the rest!!

Really Cassie this all sounds great! You are the one doing all this and you are taking my ideas farther than I imagined! I am really proud of you too!! I wish you had been there when I was in school - or my kids!

Just be here when you can!!


lessa{D} said...

ohhhhhhh Cassie... this really is wonderfull and I can imagine you walking on clouds... these kids will always think with a huge smile of you for the rest of their lives...

you are doing a fantastic job...

love, lessa

Tiggr d'Amore said...

Hi Mom,

I just knew you were purrfect for this new job, and your compassion and ingenuity show no bounds, just as I'd known all along.

So glad to hear that you've found a way to connect with the kids and also nudge them along to become better, and more interested, readers!

And writers, too, for that matter... how awesome for you to do that with them and for them to be able to see their stories and by-lines in print... they will cherish this always, as will you, I'm sure!

Love you and I do miss you, but I also understand!

Eva said...

Cassie~ I am so proud of you!! On a daily basis I work with kids who if they'd only had a Miss Cassie in their lives 10 years ago might be different kids today. Keep up the good work!! It not only make a difference to them today, it will make a difference to them tomorrow when their future teachers can take them further than they could have otherwise.

Again, I'm proud of you. I LOVE the ideas you're implementing!!


Jessica said...

That is so awesome! You are a natural teacher. I'll bet the school is thrilled to have gotton someone with as much smarts as you! Your techniques are so creative!

Paul said...

Cassie, well done, that is so marvellous, as the others have already said, these children will remember you, possibly for the rest of their lives.
How many have the opportunity to be such a positive influence in a childs life.
Sister I'm so proud of you.
If you would like to write I will alway respond.
Love and warm brotherly hugs,

Caryagal said...

Wow! What fun! Glad to hear it is going well! I bet you are keeping really busy. what a great idea with the kindie's (as my kindergarten teacher says!) And the stories! Wonderful ideas.


david said...

Cassie Mom, There are people who teach and then there are teachers. They give you the knowledge you will remember thru life. Welcome to that group. Years from now when some of your students think back on you they will say she made a diference in my life. I had several when I was in school but I will always remember Mr. Martin who I had in 9th grade literature.

Love and hugs,

Cassie said...

I love feeling that Tom is proud of me and I like sneaking in that blogging time too!

Thanks you are all making me feel like this is something they will really remember.

Honey thank you so much.

Thank you so much for the suggestions. The children seem to love them.

I am the one on cloud 9 when I am with the children.

I love to see you come by dear. Since you teach too this means a lot coming from you.

That is such a kind thing for you to say.

Thank you but they were PK's ideas. She has done this a long time!

I miss you brother, I will write sometime. It makes me happy to know you are proud of me too.

I do know how teachers and mother work at this pace for years and years. I am so very tired!

What you and some of the other have said touches me. I can't imagine anyone remembering me. Tom and I don't have grandchildren or really any neices or nephews. Our little family will end with us. I would like to hope some of these little ones will remember me.

Terpsichore said...

It sounds like you are doing just wonderfully! Those children are very lucky indeed! :-)

Reesa Roberts said...

I think it's really awesome what you're doing, and PK's ideas are great!