Monday, August 23, 2010

I do not want to learn to read

How heartbreaking for a 9 year old to say, "I do not want to learn to read."  This is a child  has already failed in the school system.  She is embarrassed and does not want to try anymore. 
When I told her I would test her she said, "No."  This was a simple statement.  How do you tutor someone who has given up?  I tried to set up an appointment to work with her individually.  The first time the student could not come.  The second time, I could not come. 
Finally, I decided to try something different.  We set up a two to three hour session to work with her and two of her sisters.  I also had two boys about the same ages as the girls come.  The boys already knew the games that I wanted to teach.  The oldest girl and boy are both in the 5th grade.  The three younger children are in the second grade.  The 9 year old has been retained. She gets to do second grade again. 
I started with having the fifth grade boy and the nine year old play dominos.  I had the fifth grade girl and second grade boy play tri-ominos. I worked with the youngest girl on making sets and reading and learning skills.  Then, I traded and worked with the youngest boy on reading.  He had already had some success with this material I work with.  Then I had the nine year old and youngest boy and myself play the rocket phonics cards.  This is played as a concentration game.  The nine year old got to decide how many cards we could turn over.  She chose 4.  After 3 turns each, I changed her turn to 8 turnovers while leaving the youngest boy and myself at 4. I have worked with the youngest boy enough that he understands making the play more even so he did not complain or think this was unfair.  In the end, she had 13 sets, he had 12 sets and I had 11 sets. This meant she won first, he won second and I lost.  I could not convince them that I won third.
She had a good time and learned a few sounds.  This may not be the best way to teach but when someone has given up, changes need to be made.
Lastly, I played Train Dominos with all 5 children.  Now this is a boring game to me but it taught the girls some skills they needed and leveled the playing field as the boys do not know this game well.  We will see how next time goes.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of changing the rules of the game some. Not every child at nine is at the same learning maturity especially the ones that have hit so many walls that they have given up.