Since early February I’ve been arriving at school half an hour early three days each week to work with a few of my students. Our school has dedicated some funding toward extra before (or after) school remediation. I’ve never done it before because it isn’t a lot of money and I couldn’t see us (me and my daughters) managing to get to school half an hour early. Half an hour isn’t much but it’s big in the morning.
I did it this year because I have some students I thought would really benefit. It seemed worth a try. It should be noted that between school closings and delays for weather, both of which meant we didn’t meet, and my conference travels, we’ve missed a lot of those days. Unfortunately.
Yesterday was our last day. It’s the week before spring break so I was exhausted. I decided I needed some way to know if this time and energy had really helped. Over our mornings together we’ve worked on reading and math. In reading our focus has mostly, but not exclusively, been high frequency words. We have a list of one hundred high frequency words we want our first graders to be able to read and write by the end of the year.
As a team we assess these words every January. Yesterday I assess my kiddos again to see how many of these words they can read now.
In January these four kiddos could read 49, 25, 64, and 31 words. Yesterday, those same kiddos read 72, 51, 91, and 87 words. Huge improvement. But I still wondered. I had one more kiddo I had invited to our morning times but who never came. I decided to assess her as well, as a control. In January she read 61 words. Today she read 70 words. I was convinced. Our mornings together were totally worth it.