Academic journal article Ohio Reading Teacher

A First-Hand Reading Experience with My Second Grader: A True Story

Academic journal article Ohio Reading Teacher

A First-Hand Reading Experience with My Second Grader: A True Story

Article excerpt

I was totally blindsided when I went to my son's second grade parent/teacher conference this year. My son's teacher told me that Jason was only reading at a first-grade level! "That's impossible," I said. "When he finished first grade, Jason was above the expected level. We've been reading all summer. How could he be going backwards?" His teacher showed me Jason's last few comprehension tests each of which exhibited failing grades. The latest test grade was only a 20%. I could only shake my head in disbelief. But the grades don't lie I guess.

I told the teacher we would spend more time reading in the evenings and hopefully he would catch up. I didn't know what else to do. I thought if Jason was having trouble reading, we would just have to spend more time practicing. That was the confusing part, though. When Jason read, he read well. He used expression and rarely got stuck on a word. It sounded like he understood what he was reading.

Luckily, I am in the process of getting my degree in early childhood education and I am taking a reading methods class this semester. I spoke to my professor about my son's situation and she introduced the idea to our class that children need a purpose for reading. She suggested, for example, that Jason read the questions he will be answering before he reads the passage. That will give him his purpose for reading the story; to find the answers. That made so much sense to me. As an adult, I still need to have a purpose for reading. If I am reading about something I'm not familiar with, it's difficult for me to retain a lot of the information. It's the same with children. If Jason is reading about something he isn't familiar with, I figured that he would have the same problems.

That night, I told Jason that the next time he had to complete a reading worksheet - he should review the questions before he began reading the story. …

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