One unfair thing about life in a classroom is that if you behave poorly, you are likely to get more attention from the teacher. I can fight that reality as hard as I want, but at the end of the day, if I need to personally occupy a couple of students in order to give the others some peace and quiet, I’ll do it.
Today that happened; I had intended to pull a small group of students to a table for some targeted reading instruction, but a couple of kids were so unengaged in their independent work that I decided to work with them instead. I wasn’t exactly eager to teach either one of them in that moment, so I declared that they would take turns reading books of their choice to each other. I’d listen.
One of these students is a kindergartener, and one is a first grader. The first grader is easily distracted but still generally a part of the day-to-day happenings of the classroom. The kindergartener…less so. He’s a wanderer, a roll-on-the-ground-er, a “Where did my shoes go?”-er. I have consistently questioned whether or not he is learning anything from his time in our classroom. It’s just so hard to tell what he hears, what he processes.
The first grader started reading. And predictably, this kindergartener immediately began to interrupt. My first inclination was to hold my finger to my lips and reprimand him for his rudeness. But then I realized…he was interrupting to correct the other student. He was reading the words on her page. He was reading them accurately. He was reading them faster than she was.
WHEN DID HE LEARN TO READ?!
I knew I should’ve stopped him from interrupting, but I was so shocked by his literacy growth that I wanted him to interrupt again and again. Actually, I just wanted the first grader to finish reading so that I could listen to him.
Again: WHEN DID HE LEARN TO READ?!
I’m so glad that his behavior forced me to change plans today.