Seeing Progress

At the mid-year mark, one Literacy First tutor reflects on 
student victories big and small.

By Abigail Chopp, 2019-2020 Literacy First Tutor

I love being able to see, on paper, the tangible progress that my students are making. That makes Wednesdays the most exciting day of the week for me. That is the day that we test our students with a progress monitor (weekly check-in on the progress of all Literacy First students). It is so exciting to see how students have progressed, not only from week to week, but also from when they started with Literacy First in September. These visual representations of the students’ progress in reading are amazing reminders of how far they’ve come.

While progress monitors are a great way to track the major, overall progress of our students, it is so meaningful to also take time to celebrate the smaller, but equally important, everyday victories, like learning a new letter sound or reading way more words in a Read Naturally passage than ever before.

I had one Kindergarten student who had been struggling for weeks to learn the letter sound “G”. We had been practicing every day with her letter sound cards, and when the breakthrough came and she said “G”, I was so proud! Moments like these are so exciting. This student had been working hard every day in her lessons, but was struggling. But on that day, her hard work paid off. And the next day, she remembered the “G” sound again. We celebrated the occasion with a special “G” sticker because I knew how much effort she had put forth to remember that new letter!

Read Naturally is part of the Literacy First curriculum that allows tracking of Oral Reading Fluency. Each student tracks their progress daily on their own graph – they physically color in how many words they read and they are able to see when they reach their reading level goal. Students get so excited about their graphs, and love to compete with themselves on a daily basis in order to beat their last Read Naturally score. 

The opportunity to celebrate victories big and small with my students is something for which I am so thankful. I look forward to tutoring lessons every day and the chance to witness my students learning to read. For some, it is a more gradual process, and for some it happens very quickly. But, I am there to make sure it happens. I am there to support my students through not only the big victories, such as when they graduate, but for all of the smaller victories along the way, too.

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