As we headed over to the computer to do our weekly progress monitoring, he leaned in close enough to to share with just me, "I'm going to do better this week because I am getting to be a really great reader!"
I smiled and acknowledged his growing confidence. Certainly, while his progress had flat-lined during the first few months of the year, the last few months in a focused multi-sensory focused intervention group had provided both strategies for unfamiliar words and opportunities to build confidence.
"Just do you very best," I assured him as I typed in the password hoping he would see his line "jump" when we finished.
He started confidently and fluently reading two syllable words like Marvin and respect as if they had always been part of his reading vocabulary. Then, around word 45 in the passage he came upon the word exact in a sentence that provided minimum grammar and meaning support. He wrestled that word to the ground working through the sounds, "es.trects, ex.ists, ax,ecsit." while I held my breath and hoped he would either get the word or move on.
Then, "G" reread the sentence one more time. "He was going to find the exact answer to the question." As he finished, my timer signaled his minute was over. "I really wrestled that one to the ground!" he smiled from ear to ear!
I was pretty sure that the time he spent wrestling the word "exact" to the ground would negatively impact his score. I was pretty sure that his score today would not "pop" his line or even move his line in a positive direction.
So, I did what a teacher who knew positive feedback was needed would do I picked another student who I knew had popped his line this week and showed "G" THAT score. He cheered as he saw the line pop and told me we were a great team!
He'll pop that line himself very, very soon.