Volunteering with the first graders is great. Great for them and great for me. I work with all the first graders. Maybe not every Tuesday, but through out the weeks, I help all of them. It is important for a child to have one on one time with an adult. The children need to read aloud, have some hand holding, to show off how much they have improved. Also if I work with every child, being with me is not seen as punishment or as needing extra help to catch up . With that said, I do work more with one group who are struggling with reading.
This group works on phonics with me and then reads a little book to me. We work on word families such as ew, oon, oat. Then we do the sight words. Today they went through the sight words which were on index cards. If they did OK, I had them try the next group. The sight word list was not on the cards yet. The children were to read from a laminated sheet of paper.
One little boy blazed through the cards. I handed him the laminated list and said, "Are you ready to try these words?" He looked at the list and said, "I don't know what this is, but I can do it." Don't you just love his confidence? And he nailed them!
I love it when children suddenly have something click in their brain and reading comes all together. They can really read. They understand the sentences, they don't have to sound out every letter, they see the words as a whole item ,they use expression, they stop struggling. Reading becomes fun for them.
And fun is what reading should be. Today's breakthrough was lovely. Almost gave me goose bumps.