“I don’t know if I am right but I am going to be confident! I don’t know if I am right but I am going to be confident! I think it might be the wrong answer, but I will share. I am going to be confident”.

These were the phrases that Jorge (pseudonym) said to himself over and over again while we did math today. He often says these words and I wonder if that is what makes the difference between the students that struggles and admit not knowing, than the ones that don’t understand and mask the inability to comprehend. I wonder how much of that kind of attitude is taught in school. I wonder how confident are we to admit mistakes and learn from them?


Una niña con una visión

First week back after brake and students are jumping right into learning. It is a long and full day, right after school ends we have the Student Scholars and today it is just three girls. Student Scholars is a time for students to get the extra help in math, reading and writing. Today they review vowel combinations, check out mystery books, and do a lesson to challenge and increase reading level.

The girls get a preview of the books that they will be reading for the mystery unit. They are exited! My CT shares with them that they will have their first choice of book from the list of books that they made before brake. I truly appreciate that my CT does what is possible to help her students. By this I mean that she has made two of the books for the girls available in audio books, and since they were not available in school she got them from the public library.

After my CT shared the mystery books she starts reviewing vowel combinations. She pulls out a mini white board and starts by pointing out some of the words and asks them to make the sounds and think of other words that have that same sound. She writes “ai” and asks what other words can you think of and says, “Tail good one but oh… it is also spelled tale what is tale… dew and due.” She continues for a little while and reminds them that the sheet will be on the wall if they need to refer back to it. My CT also points out that it was great that someone reminded her about reviewing the vowel combinations. She also reminded them that they learned vowel combinations in the third grade; however they were also learning how to speak English. She says, “Sometimes it is hard to keep up with everything.” Because of that many important details such as vowel combinations could have been forgotten or not yet understood.

The last part of the hours is spent reading. The book they read today for the lesson is called “Girl with a Vision” by Julie Winterbottom, and the teacher tells them that the book is a biography about a woman that loses her sight at a very early age. They do some eco reading, read the titles of the chapters and go over some vocabulary. I learn so much from listening to the conversations that the students are having. Adriana (pseudonym) for example fake reads and Monica is learning how to decode vocabulary with the help of text. I see that all of them make mistakes with words that are unfamiliar to them because they are not part of their vocabulary and one word like customs can turn into costumers in the blink of an eye. All of them however are making wonderful progress and are very motivated to learn. Using sticky notes to jot down notes, asking questions, and discussion are really helping.

I am curious how much progress they will make by the end of the year. I know that they are working hard and it is really paying off.

Table Top Movie Maker

Experimenting and finding all sorts of possibilities for students to incorporate literacy, and technology skills to Table Top Movie Maker. Brick Maier created an easy and fun way to assess student’s ability to cooperate with other students, write a narrative and present it. Without inducing anxiety! With collaboration of Veritably Clean, Becoming and Educator, and Uncommonteacher, we created this Table Top.