Unexpected Reward

December 16, 2013

Usually, when Robert returns from school, the worksheets and textbooks are waiting for him.  Robert won’t take an evening bath before first completing all assignments I prepared for him. Today, I forgot to assemble papers and books.  Robert took it as an indication that there won’t be any evening learning.  When I tried to make up for my negligence, he protested  repeating softly and quickly, “No, no, no, no.”  He watched me opening books and taking out worksheets from a folder full of copies, then convinced by inescapable fact, – the worksheets spread on the table-, he surrendered, picked up his favorite pencil and got ready to study.

1.We read two pages about organisms competing for scarce resources. I am not sure what Robert understood. He encountered the word population in a new context. In the past the word related only to people, now to all organisms of the same kind. He heard and read the word “resources” before, mainly in the context of the conservation through recycling, reusing, and reducing.  Today, for the first time, he read about possible scarcity of resources and their grave consequences.  As I said, I am not sure what he understood.  Below the text there were questions, but I did not use them as a way of checking Robert’s retention of information but as a way to review and reteach.  I mostly fed the answers to Robert.

2. Robert practiced talking in sentences.  The hardest thing for him.  I asked the questions related to pictures and Robert should answer in full sentences. Although he had to apply the same sentence structure, he  too often put the words in a wrong order.  I asked, “Which animals have stripes (whiskers, bushy tails, pouches…) He responded with one word and then reluctantly followed with a full sentence. I noticed, to my surprise, that as we went on, Robert demonstrated more difficulties, not less in speaking in sentences.   I stopped this exercise as soon as he strung words correctly in his answer so he could finish on a high note.

3.A page from Reasoning and Writing level C, provided him with some relief.  Robert was supposed to write a paragraph about the picture and he did it without verbal prompting.  Still, I kept pointing to different parts of the picture to help Robert build sentences.  After he did, he read the whole paragraph and was pretty pleased with himself.

4. Robert floated through lesson 85 from Saxon Math. Among other thing, he properly aligned numbers for addition: $3.26 + $45 +36c changing units, using decimal points, placing decimal points under each other and adding properly.

Then, he smiled. He smiled at himself.  He smiled because he felt he mastered the skill, because he wasn’t tricked by the lack of decimal points in cents and dollars and he knew exactly where he should put them, because he was proud, because he could do it all by himself.

His  joy of his accomplishment!

And my joy of Robert RECOGNIZING  his accomplishment.

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1 Comment

  1. Jean

     /  December 21, 2013

    almost an early christmas gift.


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