Speaking their language would only help so much.

As I’m thinking about things that I can have my kids read, that I think they should be able to understand because they should know the vocabulary therein, I’m remembering this great little boy who was in my elementary class when I did America Reads.  We were doing reading comprehension on Columbus’ voyage, I think.  There was one question he had trouble with.  So I would ask him every question around the information he needed, he would say all of the pieces, but that last connection, the therefore that would lead him to the answer, he’d shut down.  “I can’t figure it out,” that’s all he would say, and he got  sniffly and frustrated and I tried to convince him not to worry. At first, “you can do it,” and then “let’s just skip it and go back to class,” but no he wanted to finish.  He would get in trouble at home, he said.  Ms. B, their teacher, said he had this problem.  He was bright but would sieze up.  And I thought about another girl from that class this morning; she had read me the Giving Tree at the East Liberty library.  This morning I was looking for a Shel Silverstein poem that I could do in class here, but I don’t know if they could handle nonsense words.  Although if I had a copy of the Giving Tree…

Thinking about them, I miss those kids.

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