First off, my new student is adorable and doesn’t speak English. Her dad walked her to my room because he wanted to meet me. He told me that they just moved from Romania and her English is still developing. He said his wife also doesn’t speak English.
I put her in the lower reading group. And I’ve decided that I’ll be meeting with the lower reading groups four days per week. It sucks that the other students will suffer, but I can’t in good conscience let them sit there in groups and continue to fall behind.
I realize it’s my job to prepare each of my children for third grade, but equal isn’t fair. It’s not a coincidence that my lowest readers are also my biggest mis-behaviors.
The higher readers are going to suffer and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’d rather have all of my students reading at a 2nd grade level when they enter 3rd grade then have them divided between 3rd, 2nd, 1st, and K levels.
I think giving them extra attention was helpful. Tyrese earned all of his baseballs and while the rest of the class was very chatty, I didn’t have to raise my voice at them.
Also, my kids were really sweet to the new girl. I think they were making an effort to behave on her behalf. She smiles a lot and never makes eye contact.
I also typed up a letter and sent it home with my lower reading groups. I told their parents that if they were willing to drop their children off early or pick them up late that we would work on reading skills. I’ll see if they write back. If I could just get them up to the next level then I think it would make a world of difference.
I’m tired of thinking my students are stupid because they can’t read. I’d be more comfortable thinking they’re stupid because they choose not to read.