Carol Ann writes stories with me. I learn the sounds by writing the story. I’ve been tracing letters and numbers and writing them. It’s easier to see what the word is when you can read it. Carol Ann “buddy reads” with me. This is when we both read the book together. When I come to a word that is really hard, Carol Ann reads it. I have a box of reading cards. I read them and we sort them into hard (statue stop), monkey medium and puffer fish fast. We do the short and the long vowels. I write some words on a piece of paper and we print it out and cut it out and use it for our stories. I sort them to figure out what the best words are to go in which part of the story. We write the story on a piece of paper and then we copy it on the computer and print it out. Then we draw a picture for it.
Carol Ann teaches me math. Carol Ann prints out a piece of paper with math problems and I figure them out. I have things I can do to solve the math problem. Bump and point and click and show use your hands to figure out the problem. We do color coding, we do French fries, cheese bits, and waffles and the thousand block. They help me to figure out the problem. I use houses to help know where the problem goes. I play tic-tac-toe sometimes with doubles and neighbors. Doubles and neighbors are where you add the problem. Partners to 10 are subtraction. Subtraction is the difference of whatever the problem is, like 5 and 4 is one, the difference.
Carol Ann helps me talk. When I come in the morning, I tell her what I did. If I don’t remember, I draw it and it helps me remember. I don’t use words like “yeah” and “stuff” and “things.” I tell what the things are. Carol Ann reads a word and says the beginning or the last of the word and I have to say the other part of the word. The silly questions are like, is a baby younger than its mother. By knowing which is bigger or older it helps me say what I want to say.
So, at school, I wish there was different ways to do things. Like, I learn better with a grownup. Teachers need to know how to teach kids how to write using sounds. They need to know how to do math with houses. They need to know how to teach talking. Carol Ann and me have learned math, reading and writing and how to talk. I feel great because I know how to learn.
3rd grade student