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“Scholastic Reads” Podcast
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I have had 13 years of
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I have had 13 years of experience teaching in a bilingual classroom in 1st and 2nd grade. I remember my 3rd year I had a little girl who had a traumatic experience and this wonderful lady, who later became her legal mom, was trying to adopt her. Well as is typical, my student was still a non reader. This is why I love 1st grade, I teach most of my class to read. My student was very excited about learning to read. When mom requested a parent/teacher conference she shared my student's background and also confessed that she was illiterate but that she would try to help my student as much as she could at home. So I gave my student reading strategies and the freedom to choose what she wanted to read. Our school was an AR school, but I was focusing more on getting my student excited about reading. Soon she was taking books home from our class library on top of the phonetic books from Scholastic I was sending home each week. She used all the reading strategies that I taught her and pretty soon she became a voracious reader. Her writing also improved as well. The most tender, heart wrenching and incredible thing about this student's reading life, and the part I will forever remember, is that she taught her adoptive mother how to read and write as well. This wonderful child would take her books and homework and share her knowledge with mom at home. Around March of that school year, my student's mom came to give me the good news that she was my student's official mom. She was also carrying a book in her hand. She wanted to let me know that she helped my student with her Science Project, but that my student did most of the work. She opened the book, I noticed it was a 3rd grade level book, and started reading through some paragraphs she found interesting. As she read and struggled with some words, I knew at this point that she wanted to share that my student had taught her to read. I hugged her and when she left, I couldn't help but burst into happy tears with what I had witnessed. My little, still 6 year old, student had taught her mom the power and love of reading. I was, and still am every time I recall, astounded how a student with all she had gone through could find the love of reading and then share it with her mom in such a life-changing way. She became one of my best readers that year. Later the librarian would always share with me that her and her friends that had been with me that school year still went to check out books daily in Spanish and English. My librarian was always mentioning this to me because my student did this every year she was in that elementary school up to fifth grade. This is one of the many stories I cherish of how the power of reading can not only impact students' lives, but their families' as well.
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