Finding that what you want, may not be “just right” for you

"Who's been eating MY porridge?"

Today I was working with a first grader who was going to record a book into Garageband. This child chose this particular book because a good friend of hers had read it aloud to her. To backtrack, we are using Garageband to record the students read a book so that the student can listen back and hear what they do well and what they need to improve. It is also a way for the teacher to go back and create a running record using the recording. Anyhow, this child started off loud and proud, very confident in her introduction of the book and the first couple pages. Unfortunately, as the child got deeper into the story she was having trouble reading some of the words and her loud and proud voice became, in her words, “quieter because it was getting harder for me.”

We listened back to her reading and talked about what she did right, what type of words she needed to practice (number words), and what strategies I noticed her do as she read. This seemed to make her feel better about how she sounded when she listened to herself from the recording. We also talked about the book probably not being “just right” for her. She agreed and said that “practicing would make it easier to read.”

The same child’s sister, in a nearby classroom, was online playing math games to reinforce coin recognition. Her class had a choice between several games but she chose one that her friend and neighbor was playing. After a few difficult rounds, she decided that it would be better for her to start with adding pennies and nickels than it would to continue with the quarters and dimes.

Both girls had wanted to do what their friends were doing, but both soon realized that what they wanted to do may not be what was “just right” for them and that is more than ok.

image from sammydavisdog’s flickr

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