After a couple of months back in the classroom, the students in the Read Naturally reading lab are increasingly more comfortable with the steps of the strategy. We use Read Live and Word Warm-ups in our lab, so we spend time creating folders and exercise packets, setting up the computers, and organizing timers and headphones. As my mother (Candyce Ihnot, Read Naturally Co-founder) labels each timer with indelible ink, she shares this story:
I am reminded of two brothers who were my students when I first started Read Naturally. Josh, a third grader, came to the lab for class early in the morning, and his second-grade brother, Corey, came to class at the end of each day. One morning, Josh asked me if I had a book he could take home. Delighted, I gave him a short chapter book and wondered if he would really read it. Later that day, I noticed a timer was missing from the lab. I hoped I had just misplaced it, but I knew one of my students had likely stolen it – my students loved the timers! The next day I began each class period inquiring as to the whereabouts of the missing timer. Of course, no one seemed to know. A few days later, Corey, the younger – and more foolish brother – came bounding into my room and proudly announced, “Josh read 100 words a minute last night.” I now knew who had my timer…but I also knew that two boys were reading at home. I decided the cost of a timer was a small price to pay. However, after that incident, I started numbering my timers, assigning each student a timer, and writing a timer number on each student’s folder.
Great stories come from actual experiences in the classroom, and great teachers learn and improve as educators based on those experiences.
Do you have a fun story that changed the way you teach? Please share it in the comments section below!