This is the question my student asked me today. I was stunned that he wanted to read because half the time that I’m reading, he didn’t seem to be paying attention. Or so I thought!
Let me give you the background on the story that I read that piqued his attention. Usually his attention span is so short when I’m reading. He interrupts, hits others, and outbursts whenever he can. Well, his short attention span lengthened when I read a book of mine, Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson, about a young girl who lives with her grandmother because her father is incarcerated. This book really touched him because a family member is currently incarcerated. After reading this book, he began paying attention to all the books I read.
So, taking the advice of my assistant, I made a copy of the book for him. Once I showed him the book and wrote his name in the book, his eyes widened as he asked, “Is this for me?”
“Yes,” I told him. The only thing you have to do is behave for the rest of the day and it’s yours. Well, that proved to be too tall of an order for him. So, in order for him to be successful, I’ve decided to lower the bar and be more realistic. I’ve changed the time he has to behave from all day to the first part of the morning, which is about 2 hours. I will make sure he’s successful!
Now that you know the background information and why he now likes reading, I can move on to him asking to read. He came into the classroom after using the bathroom. Usually he makes noise and tries to get negative attention. However, he didn’t do that today. Instead, he came up to me and said, “Mrs. ?, since I had a good morning, can I read?”
I was temporarily taken aback because I couldn’t believe that he asked so passionately. “Can I?” he asked.
“Of course you can,” I told him.
Once I told him what book to read (Emma Kate by Patricia Polacco), he plopped his little self in my special chair and proceeded to read like I do. During the course of reading, he even had the nerve to tell one of the other students to be quiet.
“Well!” I said.
Today was one of the best days since I’ve worked at my school. There’s only about 2 months left in the school year and I really hope I have more success stories to report like this. If I do, you’ll be one of the first to know, Dear Readers. I’ll keep you apprised. Bye for now!