At the beginning of the year, I assess each student in language arts and math to see where they stand. Through the testing, I’m able to see where the holes are. Knowing what their deficiencies are helps guide my instruction.
With this particular student, I realized that she was having trouble with multisyllabic words. She didn’t know how to attack a word when she got to it. I really focus on “just right” instruction and “just right” books for my kids. Often, the stories in the Anthology aren’t appropriate for every student. Even though I don’t teach guided reading, I use guided reading books to meet my kids’ needs. I also send home guided reading books each night in a Ziploc baggie. Students write in their Reading Response Journals each night to assist them with comprehension (and writing, of course). Also, students attend RtI (regardless of their reading level) each day. In their RtI group, their individual needs are addressed for 30 minutes a day.
Finally, this particular student just needed a little positive reinforcement and praise. One day, the light bulb went on and she said, “Oh, I get it now!” From that point on, she’s been on cloud 9 because she knows word attack skills!
I love these kids and I feel like 2nd grade is one of the most important grades in their little lives. This is their time to get concise phonics instruction, which will help them become better readers (we focus a LOT on spelling patterns).