Thursday, March 5, 2015


I'm participating in the Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers this month. 
I'm on a borrowed PC computer while my Apple is in the shop. 
I can't figure out how to download the SLICE graphic on this computer.

E has been a member of my kindergarten intervention group for about six weeks now. His mom had just had a baby and E's reading was just not progressing as quickly as the state of Colorado would like. His teacher thought he might benefit from a little extra support.

I'll never forget that first day. Red hair. Freckles. We are preparing to start reading group when the questions start coming.

"Dr. Carol, do you know any babies?"

"Yeah, E, I know a few babies."

"You do?"


"What are their names?"

I have to stop and think what babies I actually know right now. E's teacher has a baby that's about 9 months old. Our secretary had a baby in October. Another teacher has a baby that is two months old.

"Ms. S. has a baby named Julie. And Ms. Marina has a new baby named Jazmin. And I know another baby named Grayson."

"I know a baby named Joshua (his brother's name)." says E. "I hate the name Joshua."

The three other five-year-old's nod solemnly. Only Katrina has a comment.

 "You shouldn't say hate," says K. "Hate is not a nice word."

A couple of months later, E seems not to hate the name, or the baby quite as much, and his reading is coming along beautifully. Yesterday we read Looking for Animals, a book about camouflage. E and his friend, J, loved hunting for the animals hidden on each page. They loved the fact that they could actually read and recognize when the author switched the pattern. But most of all, they loved the index in the back of the book. After I demonstrated how to use an index, the boys spent about five minutes (a big chunk of our thirty minute group) looking at the animals.

"You want to find a snake, J?" said E. "You gotta go to page 12."

"You know that weird yellow fish?" said J. "That's on page 6."

Finally I had to stop the boys and send them back into class so I could take my other group.

Evidently, though, E was not quite done. When it came time for him to read with his teacher, he wanted to know about her book selection.

"Ms. S.," he said, "Do you have any of those books with the windex?

"The windex?" said Ms. S, a little confused.

 "Yeah, Ms. S. If you have the windex, you can find stuff in the book."

Ms. S was still laughing two hours later when she came to ask me if I had any more books with windex in the back. 


Anonymous said...

Amazing! I wasn't sure how babies and Windex were going to connect, but it does...Love it!

Donna Smith said...

Oh, so cute! I love it. Windex in the back...windex always makes things clearer!

Tara said...

Ha! Gotta love the way kids remember things...Windex does help you see more clearly though, so I get his point! :)

Michelle said...

This is why I love working with kinders!!! They just crack me up! Love the windex!

Glenda Funk said...

I love the sarcasm in your opening. Even more, I love reading E's story and experiencing his growing love of reading. I have a ninth grade student in my general speech class who reads at a 2.7 grade level; I have quite a challenge figuring out how to reach him and help him through speech, which, of course, requires much reading.

Unknown said...

From the mouth of babes! I love it. A Kinder teacher at my school always posts the things that her kids say. It's hilarious! :)

Linda B said...

Love the stories, Carol. Thank you for ending my day so beautifully. I'll tell the story around tomorrow!

Unknown said...

HAHAHA!!! YES!!! oh my goodness this is a fantastic story. That is awesome. I'm so glad he doesnt hate the baby quite as much anymore. Poor little guy.

Kyle said...

Maybe the state should listen to these boys and use windex to have a clearer view about PARCC. I want to share this with everyone!

Kathleen said...

I love your description of this little guy, and the punchline of the Windex. As a librarian, I am excited that kids can get into the usefulness of the index. I also liked how your prose was so clear and direct.