Thursday, September 30, 2010

Never Assume!

I  read this great book by David Shannon to my struggling third grade readers the other day.  My goal?  To help them access schema.  I mean everyone has probably had the experience of having to purge toys, right?

I paused mid-book to ask where everyone gets their toys.  Every kid had an answer except G.  She looked at me with the blankest stare I think I've ever seen.  I rephrased the question thinking maybe her language barrier was getting in the way.

In a sheepish voice but with an ultra sincere matter-of-fact tone, she looked at me and said, "I don't have any toys."  I was startled and said, "None?"  She said, "Nope."

I was reminded that you cannot assume anything when trying to access and teach schema to readers.  The most basic of assumptions on the part of a teacher can still leave the reader floundering as he/she tries to make connections!

I probed further and asked G if she knew anyone who had toys.  She said she did.  And THAT's where we began her connecting!

If you haven't read this delightful book by David Shannon, I highly recommend it to you.  I laughed out loud the first time I read it...and I was alone sans any children!

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