Math and Reading Skill Practice

At New Heights, practicing reading and math skills is fun! We play games to reinforce concepts such as reading comprehension, figurative language, grammar skills, critical thinking skills, math problem name it! 

Spring semester is now in full swing, and students in grades 3 and up will be preparing for state tests in April. These tests are a big factor in determining whether students are ready to move to the next grade level. 

We will be working hard to prepare and pass these tests with flying colors! 

Sweet Surprises

Well, one of the fun things about being a teacher that works with elementary age students is the surprise gifts that you get! Last week, this sweet student brought me a little pumpkin filled with Halloween candy and a plastic spider ring. It made my day!!

Today, I was walking back to the office with another one of my students and she says, "Mrs. Mo, guess what? I brought some books for us to read!!" She was so excited to read me these new books that she got from the library. Very fun to see her so excited about reading! 

The Importance of Reading With Your Child

I think some of the most frequent words I hear when I ask someone how their week has been or is going are, "Gosh, I'm just SO busy." Whether it be someone who's single, married or married with kids, it's almost always the same response.

As a teacher, I knew some parents who didn't get home with their children until bedtime. Every day was spent doing some kind of sport practice, activity, or appointment. Homework was done in the car on the way to the activities. Reading for 20 minutes seemed like a punishment to some of these kids because they were having to do it when they were exhausted after all of their other activities.

This is a fantastic article on the importance of reading with children. It's a great encouragement to all parents on why it IS worth your time.

It Takes Some Perseverance..

"I've tried everything!" Those were the words that were spoken at my first meeting with this little girl's "grammy". She was at a point of frustration, and didn't know what else to do to help her granddaughter progress in reading.  

This particular lady owns her own daycare program and is very skilled at what she does. She has a heart for children and is committed to teaching them all of the skills they need by the time they reach school age. She had tried many of the methods she had used with her students, and they were not having the effect that she had hoped. 

When I started working with this student, she was mid-year first grade and was having trouble with basic Kindergarten sight words. She would easily get frustrated with herself while reading and would want to give up. It was so exciting to see the transformation that took place over the next few months. 

Her grandma would help her read and review books that I sent home, and this student would say, "Grammy, that word has the double vowel rule!" After much perseverance and hard work, this student is now up to grade level and reads with confidence and fluency.

Most importantly, the buck doesn't stop there. Her family knows that now that she is up to grade level, it's not time to assume she's fine and to stop with the effort. It's time to continue encouraging and practicing so that what's began will continue. It takes a commitment of time and effort, but the end result is so worth it.

A Story of Success

This sweet student started coming to New Heights in January. He is one that has so much joy and is so witty that you can't help but love him.  At our first meeting, his parents voiced their concerns about his progress in reading. He was in the middle of his second grade year, and was struggling to read outside of books that he had memorized. He was in a pivotal place in his attitude toward reading, and school in general. 

So many times we think, "Oh, well they'll grow out of it. They'll catch on at some point." What we fail to realize is that by the time students reach upper elementary half of the battle is the child's attitude toward school. They feel so discouraged that they don't want to try anymore. They are aware of their inadequacies. 

When children enter school at age 4-5, they are developmentally self-centered. Everything revolves around themselves. They are not concerned whether or not they can read, or if their friend is doing better in school than they are. When children start to reach 1st-2nd grade, the shift changes from self-centered to more self-aware. This is such an important age for children to receive intervention, so much that their very future and success in school depends on it.

This student started at a level of a mid-year Kindergartener. We started out with the basic short vowel words; gradually increased the difficulty, and through this time his parents were practicing faithfully with him at home. After only 6 months of tutoring, this student of mine has increased to a 2nd grade level! I am so very proud of him. 

He continues today with the continued support of his amazing parents. I cannot express the excitement and reward I feel when I see a student's confidence and love of reading emerge. Seeing this student excited about reading, and confident in his ability to read on his own is the fuel that continues this journey for me. 

What an awesome job I have.