|Materials for reading class|
In the afternoon, the first student showed up at 1:40 for her class. Gabi is in fifth grade, but she hardly knows how to read. If she really concentrates, she can do pretty well, but the reading is slow and painstaking. I suspect she may have slight dyslexia, but it´s hard to tell for sure. She also is not very motivated and comes to class more because her parents send her than because she wants to learn.
The girl who followed, Guadalupe, reads slowly, but it seems that her only problem is lack of practice. When she is in class one-on-one, she has very few difficulties. She knows how to sound out words well, and in Spanish, sounding out words is quite possible.
Her younger sister, Iyari, is an impatient reader. She is most like how my mom says I was when Mom was teaching me to read. She will look at part of a word and randomly guess what it says, or she will look at the pictures and begin guessing the word without ever looking at the actual word. Thus we have in Spanish "river? cloud? boat? water?" and so on, when the word is "sea." Iyari probably will learn reading just fine once she gets the idea that she really does have to look at the letters to see what the word says.
Ashlee arrived next. She is the one who struggles most of my current students. She has no concept of the sound-symbol relationships with letters. She will look at a syllable that I just pronounced for her and have no idea what it says. Today I wrote the vowels on our small whiteboard for her, and she could pronounce them, but when I added just one consonant in front of the vowel, she had no idea what the syllable said. I have decided to stop using the Mas Luz curriculum with her and just to focus on syllables.
Sandra has been my most consistent student. She is now halfway through the second book and is therefore reading summarized Bible stories. She balks at first when she sees a page with five or six complete paragraphs for her to read, but then she plows on. Her reading is still slow, and she has to sound out words often, but she has definitely improved.
The last student is my newest. She just began school, but her mom taught her some reading, and it seems she has a pretty good grasp of the idea that letters have individual sounds and therefore words can be sounded out (at least in Spanish). She is proud of herself when she finishes a lesson.
Usually siblings arrive with the students, and so there are often children playing in the room while class is in session. Perhaps it´s not the ideal environment for the reading, since the room can get quite noisy, but I´m glad that the children feel comfortable coming to our house and that their parents trust us. It is one more way to build bridges in this community. We recently attended two different parties given by our neighbors, because the children asked their parents to invite us. At those parties we have the opportunity to talk with the adults and meet other neighbors.