Today I had a special moment… if you’re a teacher, you already know what I’m talking about. One of those instances where something magical happens and the energy from it just overtakes you. Sometimes the sprout doesn’t even realize it until you let them in on the moment… today, when I pulled Darcy to read, I had one.
We’ve been pulling kids at quiet times (yes, they happen in kindergarten) to DRA them. The DRA – the Developmental Reading Assessment is a reading test measuring accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. At the kindergarten level, we start low, usually with a level one or two, sometimes higher, depending on the child. Darcy was reading a two.
For most kids, the two is just about right. The teacher reads the first page, ‘I can see a red boat’ modeling pointing to each word and then the child reads the rest of the book. Each page has a large picture with a clue to finish the line, ‘I can see a…’ – if children take their time and point, they usually pass.
The problem is the last page. After an entire book with the ‘I can see a’ pattern, the final page reads, ‘And I can see bubbles’ – that ‘And’ is the fly in the ointment. Even though they are pointing to each word, many kids pass right over the ‘And’ and just keep reading.
When Darcy first got to the ‘And’ she didn’t read it. She pointed to each word, “I can see…” She stopped. Without looking up at me, she knew something was wrong. She began again, pointing, “I can see” not reading the ‘And’ – after a third time she finally, she got it. She paused her finger over the ‘And’ and after a moment, read the page, pointing to each word correctly.
The hairs on the back of my head stood up.
We finished the assessment and I gave Darcy a hug. I couldn’t help it. These moments are why we teach. Don’t forget to notice and cherish them.