One thing I've learned in my two years as a Reading Corps Elementary Literacy Tutor is that each student's path to reading success looks different. This year I had the privilege to work with a young student who started his reading journey with a CBM-R score that was about 20 words below fall target. He was hesitant as he read and he would pause often between words. When he came to a word he was unsure of he would immediately look to me to help him with it.
We started Duet Reading and I encouraged him to try the words he was unsure of. I let him know that I was there to help him if he made a mistake and that mistakes were ok and part of learning. I quickly noticed that he was very good at decoding words he was unsure of. He just lacked confidence in his ability.
Once we got into the swing of things wit hDuet Reading, his confidence soared! He realized that the worst that could happen was that I would correct the word he missed and we would reread the sentence. Within a month he had already increased his rate significantly and we continued o work on making the sentences smoother and adding expression into his voice. We continued with Duet Reading, as he was making significant gains in all areas of reading fluency.
I saw his confidence soar and he started to tell me that he was reading more than he used to outside of school. By the end of the year, his rate had improved by 60-70 words per minute, almost reading target on his weekly progress monitoring. Not only that, but he was reading smoothly, accurately, confidently, and prided himself on using expression during his reading.
One of the best moments through was getting to watch him confidently get up in front of a group at school and present something he wrote. He read it confidently, smooth, and with great expression!
I started working with a 2nd grader this fall, we began with Duet Reading. I noticed right away how frustrated he would get when he made a mistake. He would begin to shut down and want to go back to his classroom right away. He kept telling me he could read and that he didn't like reading.
As we continued to work together on his Duet Reading his errors began to drop. He started to "chase" me when we would "flip/flop" each passage. Reading started to become FUN!
My coaches and I started noticing his scores were going up and his errors were low each week, so we decided to change interventions. When we began working on Repeated Reading and he got to see on the graph how much his scores would go up with each read he really started to get excited about reading. Everything changed... his posture improved, his eyes would light up with a good score and you could hear the confidence in his voice. At the spring benchmark, he had continued to improve his scores and was telling me about all the books he had been reading!
I think of his success if I start to feel discouraged as a tutor. He has been an inspiration for me to keep at it and success will come!
"Watching a child struggle to read a complete sentence without frustration and then go on to be a fluent, confident reader is a magical experience to watch happen. This is exactly what happened with a third grade child I worked with this year. The student scored in the 60's on his initial Fall Benchmark. We started off slowly trying to figure each other out, as well as the program I was introducing to him.
We began our sessions with Duet Reading, learning to decode words and read exactly what was written on the page. As I began to earn his trust he began to relax. We fell into a good rhythm, and we were very productive. When I felt the student had mastered Duet Reading, we moved on to Repeated Reading With Comprehension. This would be a longer journey with ups and downs, but always improvement. I saw this student's confidence rise as he was able to master sections of text and read them with more and more fluency. He started to really enjoy coming to intervention, trying
everyday to improve on his scores and get fewer errors. He started to get really close to his exit score, but had trouble reaching it. I assured him he would get there and he always kept that goal in mind, he was very determined. We continued to work hard everyday with the intervention.
The day he got his first score at the 135 Spring Benchmark, he was so excited; so was I. With so much pride, he marched right in and told his teacher. The following week sure enough he got his second score at Benchmark. I will never forget the look of accomplishment on his face when I told him he had earned his exit papers! I was so truly proud of how hard this student had worked everyday. Without a doubt, this program works!"
"I had a third grade student who was a very cautious, slow reader. He worked very hard when he read with me and was very proud of the fact that he had so few errors. And so was I! Each day when we were reading together I try to get him out of his "safe" reading zone. I would ask him to read a little bit faster than he felt comfortable. He was so nervous about it at first, but after he tried pushing his pace, he started having fun with the reading.
He started to get more comfortable with reading at a faster pace, but still had few to no errors. Each day it seemed to get a little easier for him. He is more relaxed while working on his reading with me. Once, on a progress monitoring day, he soared right through the probe. When I told him what his score was, he was so excited and proud of himself. Seeing the look on his face and the excitement in his voice reminded me of why I like my position with Reading Corps so much."
"At my school we benchmark a lot of students who have been involved in Reading Corps throughout the years. During winter benchmarking, a total of 12 third graders scored over the CBM-R winter benchmark of 122. Nine of those were students that I have worked with in my three years as a tutor. A couple students scored over 150. I remember a few of the students entered Reading Corps reading well below grade average. It gave me a good feeling to know that I may have played a part in their success and that Reading Corps services are effective."
"When I started as a Reading Corps tutor I knew that in its simplest form my target was to help students who were under target reach a point where they would be ready to go to kindergarten. Right away, with the tools I was given, I was able to identify these students. I noted students that were ready to go, needed a little help, and the students that I would probably work with all year long.
As I started interventions with one student I knew I was going to have in every intervention I ran, I started to notice just how much these interventions help students. He started out in my interventions shy, and I had to pay attention to who I paired him with because I noticed that he would look to the other students for the answer. As my intervention progressed, I realized that as he started to grasp a concept his confidence would rise. As I progress monitored him, I noticed that he would skip yellow all together, once he understood the concept he would jump up into green. I started to notice that he wasn't shy anymore, he started to be one of the first students to raise his hand to answer a question.
Towards the end of the year, he was the student others looked to for the answers. He helped to realize that these interventions do more than make sure that students grasp the concept of rhyming or alliteration but they also give them a confidence in their abilities."
"My story begins with apprehension. When I first went to Reading Corps training I was overwhelmed by the amount of
paperwork and inputting data into the RCDMS program. I came home after the first day of training and told my wife. "I don't
think I can do this". After the training, I went to observe other Reading Corps tutors. This helped a lot. I finally got to the
school and began the process of Reading Corps. Things fell into place and the work started.
The students call me Mr. K. I was always trying to get this student to say goodbye when he left the room after Reading Corps. He would just nod and leave. He was really shy. Finally after working with him for about 3 weeks I said "Goodbye, I will see you tomorrow" He turned around with a big grin on his face and said " See you tomorrow Mr. K." This made my day.
One particular first grade student of mine was quite the character. He was the first student I was able to exit out of the Reading Corp Program. He loved to read. We were doing Duet Reading and his name was in the story. He started to giggle and said "Mr. K that is me in the story." Pretty soon he had me laughing too. He read the story and giggled all the way through the story.
I would recommend Reading Corps for anyone that enjoys working with children and likes to help students to become better readers The two coaches I worked with were very good. They assisted me if I had any questions and made my first year of Reading Corps very enjoyable.
I never thought I would be working with kids again. I taught for three years at a private elementary school and then after that I worked at the State Penitentiary for 34 years and then retired. I am glad I can do Reading Corps. I would like to come back next year."
"The growth I saw within one child blew me out of the water. Not only did this little boy come to me with a lower reading score than proficient, he also came to me with a slight speech impediment, and vision problems.
As I got to know him, we began working on the things we could best control: his expression and using his finger to track. As time went on, we added in phrasing and using his breath to control the sentences. Finally, we added the last piece of the big picture: rate and accuracy. Duet reading is where our journey began. Once he got the hang of this we moved onto newscaster reading, which he did not love at first! After awhile, we moved to great leaps and Duet Reading (again). This little boy, though still below grade level, has improved from 16 words per minute to 91 words per minute. In my eyes, that is success!"