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Wednesday 10 October 2012

A students milestone!

I had an awesome day with my class today, not even Daylight Savings and up and down weather could bring me down! 

This is how it started....during Daily 5 I was reading with a group and one of my littles was having a struggle with one particular word, I waited and observed the strategies he was attempting to use, then the little girl next to me pipes up with "Coaching or time?"  I was so stunned I didn't really have an opportunity to jump in, the little boy replied to her, "Coaching please."  
She said, "Maybe you need to try some other strategies, what about flip the sound or chunking?"  Together they worked out the word, went back and re-read to Check for Understanding, all without too much input from me!  Remember this is Guided Reading, not Read to Someone.
I was almost superfluous, she also decided that she needed to give the students some positive feedback, like " *insert name* you read a little bit like a robot, but I really liked the way you used expression!"  I was blown away......then.....the other students decided that if she could do it so could they!   The positive feedback was flying thick and fast, the strategies were being suggested and used!  
It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! 

The fantabulousness ( I think we are allowed to make up words because we are educators)  did not stop there.  After lunch we worked on finding keywords in math word problems to identify what algorithm we were going to use.  Then they had to solve the problem and explain how they did it.  One little said for this alogorithm  12 + 15 + 17 =  ......" I just used the split strategy, 10, 10 and 10, that's 30...then 5 and 2 is 7 and there is another 7 so that is 14, 30 +14 is 44!"  Woooohooooo.

But wait there's more!  We completed our Spring Wattle trees, here are the pics...

I think they are too cute and I love the green and gold!

The best was to be the last of the day! 

 My student with special needs (hearing impairment, visual impairment and intellectually disabled, you can read about her here and here )  made a huge breakthrough today.  Keep in mind that she is in a Year 2/3 classroom and operates at a pre-kinder level....well today she drew a picture and "told" (she signs so I had to adlib a tiny bit) me a story about her picture.  This is the first time she has ever done it!  Previously she has only traced and copied words, letters, sentences etc, she didn't seem to get the concept that she had to explain her pictures.  I am going to be very indulgent here as I am a very proud teacher today and here are a few pics to show you her achievement!

These are the 3 pics she did today!

This is a close up of the first pic she did.  She signs my name as MP 

Cats are one of her favourite animals

 She usually signs just the first letter for peoples names, this is her Teacher Aide.

I guess you can tell how proud I am of her!  I must admit it was a bit difficult to hold back the tears and many of the other kiddos were giving me a bit of a strange look, but were very quick to compliment her on her hard work.  I was a blubbering mess and to help her celebrate I sent her to visit the Principal, who promptly came to see me and joined in on the blubberfest.  We are hoping this is the beginning of her writing journey and I am so privileged to have been there when it started for her.  What a magnificent day to be a teacher!



  1. I love your stories! I love these moments! I had many of these moments in my first year of teaching. I had a child who was severely intellectually impaired and had ASD tendencies. That child made baby steps like your precious little one and I thought my heart was going to explode with pride! I can completely relate.

    Congratulations on, obviously, being a FANTASTIC teacher :)

    Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

  2. Awww what a fabulous day! Daily 5 is amazing isn't it! It it so rewarding when students with a disability make those great steps!

    Makes me warm in my heart! Congratulations!


  3. Thank you lovely ladies for your lovely comments, I am still smiling about my day.

  4. It's these moments that makes teaching the best profession! The emotional investment we have in our kids, particularly the ones with extra struggles who have to work so much harder, is unbelievable. I'm sure you made her day with how proud you and the Principal were of her.

    Down Under Teacher

  5. Oh my goodness Tania! What an amazing day! No wait, it was like a whole lot of amazing days crammed into one! Wow! The breakthrough of your special needs student gave me tears....I can't even imagine how you must have felt :)Could you see a change in her little face? Did she look happy with her efforts and the great feedback from her fellow students? I love her pics and your blue hair. It sounds like you have a class of very positive and encouraging little people. That is just awesome stuff :)

    Abs x

  6. I giggled when I read about your Mini-Me! You can learn quite a bit about yourself by watching your kids playing teacher and imitating you! It sounds like you must be doing a terrific job, not only in the academic department but in the sharing and caring field too :-) What a gorgeous little group you have!

    Teacher Kirra:Maestra Kirra