Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A Reader Blooms

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      Because I'm not teaching anymore, it's exciting to talk with young readers at the bookstore and help them find a book they will enjoy. Often they're searching for a book "like" one they've loved before. 
      It's also a wonderful thing to see how much Ingrid and Imogene love books. They spent their final vacation day with me yesterday and part of the day was spent reading together. Ingrid, in third grade, had some struggles at the beginning but is reading well now. She just finished Wonder, partly because she's seen the movie and also because her teacher read it aloud before the holidays. She wrote a letter to an author yesterday about a poetry book I just bought for her and Imogene. We read the book first, discussed it, then Ingrid wanted to write. 
     Imogene is in kindergarten, has loved books from the beginning, yet has resisted any talk about learning to read. The books are read to her, then she takes over, going through the books again, and again, creating the story in "her" words. I don't know why the resistance, but it's been there, until this year. She has been pulled out in a small group to help her learn more and that teacher has done something magical to inspire her. She's beginning to read! And now she points out words that she knows! 
      Often, when the girls are with me all day, they end up creating notes for their parents. This time, Ingrid had already begun, and Imi said she wanted to write a letter to her Mama. She chose a coloring page from the net with a big heart and two roses on it. And she colored it with concentration, filling all the parts in. Sometimes she doesn't do that, but this time, the motivation was there and every part looked good! In the past, she has just written: "Love, Imogene". This time, she says to me, "I want to write more. Will you help me spell the words?" I don't have a picture of the note, too private, but it involved several sentences, a need to show her what a comma looked like, and the spelling of "anything" because she wanted to write, "Mama, you can do anything!"  
       Words for those who work with children come to my mind: sharing beautiful books, patience, and finding authentic reasons and audiences to write.

24 comments:

  1. Those moments, when readers and writers emerge before our eyes, are exhilarating!

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    1. Yes! They are special moments.Thanks, Karen!

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  2. It's the talking with kids about books and writing that I miss the most. Luckily, the grandkids are will to talk to grandma about them!

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    1. As you see, I agree, Deb. I miss those conversations a lot. Thank goodness for the grandkids!

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  3. Watching the literate evolution happening in your family is joyful. Patience is the key, good books will win out.

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    1. Yep! Being patient and not jumping to conclusions about a problem. It will come, I know, and it's such fun to watch!

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  4. I think one of the joys of teaching is watching that spark ignite into a flame that burns forever brightly. We don't know when that will happen, but when it does, what joy.

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    1. Yes, a wonderful surprise, too. Thank you!

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  5. Charming slice, Linda! Sweet granddaughters you've got there!

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  6. Love this glimpse into your day with the grand girls! And isn't it interesting how they come to reading at their own pace and time? My two learned to read very differently, but both arrived. So glad Imogene has had a teacher with the magic to inspire her!

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    1. It is wonderful to have Imi be so inspired that now she wants to learn. Teachers are special people! Mine learned in different ways, too, Ramona. I wish everyone realized that learners do not fit a certain schedule! Thanks!

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  7. Right now, my oldest two grandchildren are learning to talk....but I can assure you there are lots of books at Meme's house! Last weekend, V arrived and headed right to the bin where Brown Bear Brown Bear was resting. She picked him up and began as if she was returning to a conversation with a long lost friend. I smiled knowing she is already "reading" even though she is still learning to commmuicate.

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    1. Yep--ages and stages are all there, just taking steps in different ways. I love your story, Anita!

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  8. I'm so thankful to be a teacher, so when I see these moments as a Mama, I know to cherish them. I can only imagine what it's like as a Grandmama. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. It's special no matter from whom, Kendra, with students, children or grandchildren. I think we just have to wait and see how a particular child is going to BE. Thanks!

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  9. I love, love, love watching little guys learn to read. The connection between reading and writing is so clear! And I love how kids use writing first to connect with the people that they love It really is amazing!
    Carol

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    1. I agree, it is magical! I imagine you see this quite a lot, Carol! Thanks!

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  10. Linda, I always love hearing about the grandgirls. Imi is an emergent reader and I am sure that you are having fun watching her blossom and supporting her along the way. Love this advice you provided: "Words for those who work with children come to my mind: sharing beautiful books, patience, and finding authentic reasons and audiences to write."

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    1. Yes, it's been lots of fun seeing her get excited about her own reading this year. Thanks, Carol, that advice is certainly good for lots of activities, isn't it?

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  11. I'd give a lot for my Isabelle to have a book talk with you at the bookstore. I'm sure you'd help her discover some new favorites. Until then, I'll just think about how lucky Ingrid, Imogene, and all of the kids at the bookstore are. :)

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    1. I often wish that all of us lived lots closer, Stacey. Wouldn't it be fun for Isabelle to come visit at the store! Thanks!

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  12. I love reading about your grand-girls, especially their journey with reading, Linda! You are an amazing grandmother and reading mentor. Thanks for the smiles today. =)

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    1. You're welcome, Bridget! It was a fun piece to write.

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