At the beginning of the year, I had a student who hated reading. She struggled immensely and mom said she'd cry at home when she had to read (I send home a Ziploc baggie each night with guided reading books at the child's reading level). I had a parent-teacher conference with mom in early October. She said that her daughter was not crying as much anymore and that she was seeing an improvement in her daughter's fluency and comprehension. Yesterday was our first day back after a week-long vacation. Mom stopped by to let me know that her daughter asked to go to Barnes and Noble during our break so she could buy some new chapter books!!! This young lady is now BENCHMARK! Yes--she has gone from high intensive/low strategic to BENCHMARK! Not only is her reading fluency improving, but her comprehension is right on point (as a result of her reading response journal entries). It was really hard to hold back the tears when mom was sharing this story with me. This kind of situation makes all my hard work worthwhile.