Fall, 2005: As I think about being a reading teacher, I find myself very aware of how little I actually know. The reading teaching skills needed to teach literacy are probably some that I have yet to acquire. I'm hopefull that Lorrie will teach "the Giant" with me.
Lois Willman and I just "gave" the BRIDGE to A.G. I really had to rely on her knowledge as a reading teacher because the test doesn't require a student to perform but is more of a reporting mechanism to determine where the student is on the higherarchy of skills that exist way before readiness. I reported back to the Community of Learners for Literacy about how this new, to us, test worked. I've never really worked that closely with defined academics with someone with the skills of A.G.
2/10/2006: Well, this was the first real reading session with the Giant. Wow.....it seemed like we could not get any response at all. We tried more devices and several different tactics with very little success.
2/17/2006: Well, journal, guess what? When the giant came into my office for our reading time today, I had a valentine balloon that Diane had given me for Valentine's Day. Does he love balloons or what? I think we may have found a motivator that we can use to get him to really focus on our emergent reading activities. In fact, when we "stored" the balloon in the classroom while we did reading activities, the giant, (realizing that as soon as the activities were completed he would get the balloon back), made that Big Mac "sing"! A really neat time for Lorrie and myself. I hope it was for the giant as well.
2/22/2006-This session was difficult. We thought that we had some things figured out as far as motivation and desire were concerned but today we had no response. None-Nada-Zip Perhaps we have been too ambitious in our move toward communication? I think now it is back to the basic of just reading and talking to the giant. Oh, Well...these days happen.
2/27/2006 Again it was a frustrating time with the Giant today, dear journal. There did not seem to be any consistency in the methods we used and the response from the giant. The only really meaningful response we got from him today is when we took him to music and left the balloons in the office.
Lori and I talked about the giant's pencil. What constitutes his pencil? Can we get him to write?
I think we decided that an "eye gaze" regimen would be the thing to try next. Patience, my journal, patience!
March 15th, 2006
When Karen Erickson was here, she worked with the "Giant". In a way I hated that, because, sure enough, she got more out of him than I was able to get from him. But....That's the way it sometimes works out. I'm getting a video of here working with Andre, and that would help....give Lori and myself some real ideas. I wonder how we might be able to use her experience with him to benefit our teaching repertoire?
More later, journal.