Jake - First Grade Reading Student
When I first started working with Jake at the beginning of first grade he did not know all of the letter sounds, he could not blend three or four sound words together with short vowels, he guessed or skipped words he didn’t know when reading, and didn’t recognize many high frequency words. Jake and I worked on breaking apart words into their individual sounds, putting sounds together to make words, and changing sounds to make new words. By the middle of October, Jake had mastered reading short vowel words and he was reading at grade level by the beginning of January.
Lily - Third Grade Math Student
Lily hated math and cried every night when it was time to do homework. She demonstrated weak understanding of place value which made addition and multiplication concepts difficult for her. Lily and I spent a lot of time on place value using hands-on materials. Rather than having her memorize basic facts, I showed Lily how to use a known multiplication fact to figure out one she didn’t know yet. We used manipulatives to strengthen her conceptual understanding of fractions. Lily demonstrated above grade level mastery on her end of grade math test. Most importantly she felt confident in her abilities and ready to learn fourth grade math.
Christopher - Fifth Grade Reading Student
Christopher surprised his teachers and parents when he scored below grade level on his beginning of the year reading assessments. He was always considered a good reader and actually enjoyed reading a lot. Upon further analysis I discovered that Christopher relied on his extensive sight word vocabulary when reading. He had been taught to guess at unknown words by what looked right or made sense. Christopher and I focused on sound based decoding. Rather than at guess words, he used his expanding knowledge of the reading code to blend sounds and word chunks to figure out unfamiliar words. Christopher’s accuracy improved as did his comprehension. He scored at grade level on middle of the year assessments.
Maria - Seventh Grade Math Student
Maria’s assessments showed that she could complete computations but she could not apply them in word problems. These results identified a lack of conceptual understanding so that is what we focused on. Maria and I worked through the progression of each major concept from earlier grades through her current grade. We picked word problems apart sentence by sentence so she could understand the situation being described and then used models, lists and tables to organize the information, and estimation to get an idea of what the answer should be. By the end of the school year, Maria was much more confident in her ability to solve word problems. She was able to apply what she had learned the following year in 8th grade.