Have you ever heard the expression “As wrong than a vegetarian eating animal crackers?” That was kind of how I felt the other day after a session with Joey. [Read more…]
When I first picked up the book, Look! Written by Jeff Mack I was immediately intrigued. The book has only two words repeated throughout the entire story, and both of them are words on Joey’s device – Look, and Out.
The premise of the book is simple. A gorilla is trying to get a little boy to look at a book. The gorilla repeats Look! over and over again, but the boy is so engaged in his television that he either ignores the gorilla or gets mad, ordering the gorilla out of the room. Every time the gorilla returns to the room he ups his game to attempt to gain the boy’s attention, just increasing the number of times he says “Look!” Eventually he falls over the boy’s TV, which causes the boy to yell “Look out!” The TV breaks, the gorilla is shunned from the room, and the boy is left with nothing to do but read the left behind books. He becomes excited by a book about a gorilla and a boy, shares the book with the gorilla, and at the end of the book both the gorilla and the boy have filled up on reading and are now “out” (or sleeping). [Read more…]
“Love Silly Reading” Joey shared with me, and then looked in the direction of my book tub stacked behind me. “Silly reading” seems to be his new phrase for asking to read Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. It is a pretty accurate description. The books are silly, and yet, have the opportunity to offer so much to our sessions. [Read more…]
“If you want to see competence, it helps if you look for it.” Douglas Biklen
In early August I was able to attend the Inclusive Schools Summer Leadership Institute in Syracuse, NY. It was an emerging, thought-provoking conference.
One of the handouts in our folder was this list of Strategies for Presuming Competence As I read through it I immediately thought of Joey, and how these strategies support the work we do with him, and in turn, allows him to rise academically, socially, and developmentally.
I was struck by the idea of the need to look for competency and evidence of understanding. For children like Joey, it is easy to run through lessons or schedules without taking time to look for evidence of understanding. We wait for the student to meet one set expectation, but don’t always look for other ways a student may show her understanding.
“Love reading. Love silly,” Joey said to me as I sat down with him on Monday. Love was a new word on his device, and as our session continued it became clear that it was one he was going to utilize often. At one point he dropped a toy and he looked at the toy, pointed at it, then said “love”. Then he pointed at the toy again. “Love.” I’d rather he be a bit more specific with his words, asking me to get the toy he loves, but his message was clear. His beloved toy was on the ground and he wanted it back. [Read more…]