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Robert Leaps

Into Reading

Made with love by:

Ms. Jimenez
Illustrated by: Robert C.
Robert Leaps Into Reading

By Ms. Jimenez
Illustrated by Robert C.
April 2018
2017-2018 School Year: 1st Grade
This book was inspired by
Robert’s love of Ninja Turtles.
Each week when Robert and I would meet, he
would tell me about all the different animals
that he has seen in person or on television, as
well as animals that he is curious to learn more
about. His favorite animal is a
tortoise but he also talks about
turtles, lions, penguins, and
monkeys often. His all-time
favorite is Teenage Mutant Ninja
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot
about his name.

Robert C. got his name

from his father, who is also
named Robert. When he is
at school, his friends and
teachers call him Robert.
However, his family calls
him Deuce. Since he is a
Junior, it is a fitting As mentioned in Exploring Names and
Identity, “children’s names reflect their
nickname. He likes Deuce gender, culture, religion, language, and
better than Robert, but family history. Use of students’ personal
only his family can call him names has the power to positively
affirm identity and signal belonging
that. within the classroom and school
community” (Peterson et al., 2015).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about animals.
For his name story, he got creative.
For our first lesson plan together,
we read the book called A Perfect
Name, which is about a mommy
and daddy Hippo that are trying to
decide on a name for their baby
Hippo. He explained to me that his
mom and dad also had that
conversation, what should we
name our new beautiful baby? For
the name story lesson, Robert
chose to draw a giraffe and a
turtle since he loves animals and Described by Souto-Manning
saw many different animals within & Martell, “children must be
the book that we read. He made engaged in learning – making
connections to the book based on connections that are
meaningful to them.” (2016)
his interests.
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about so
many different things.

Robert is so intelligent. Even

though I thought I would be
teaching and working with him,
he taught me more than I ever
expected to learn. Robert knows
a lot about . . .
• Animals, such as his favorite
animal, the tortoise
• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Described in Reading, Writing And
Talk, “the concept of funds of • Art
knowledge allows teachers to see • Barbershops
young children and their families as • Physical Education
skillful and resourceful” (Souto- • Sports, such as Basketball and
Manning & Martell, 2016).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about the people
he cares about. His family is so important to him.
Robert talks about how much he
loves his family every time we
meet. Robert enjoys spending time
with his dad, who he is named
after, his mother Rose, and his
sisters Asia and Zaria
(psuedonyms). He loves playing
basketball with his dad and
cousins. He likes spending time with
his grandparents too; often talking
Souto-Manning & Martell discuss that,
about spending time in Charleston
“young children are social, historical,
and going to the barbershop with and cultural beings. To teach them in
his grandfather and dad, though culturally relevant ways, we need to
he says he loves dad’s dreads and learn where they are from – their
wants some of his own. families, communities, and histories. We
need to learn about who they are!”
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about art.
Art and creating is important to him.
Whenever Robert and I
meet, he is always eager to
draw something. I bring a
sketch pad and markers
and Robert creates a
vibrant picture without
hesitation every time.
On one of the last
occasions of us meeting, he
told me he created an
amazing piece of artwork
and won 1st place in the
elementary division. He
used chalk and a paper
bag. His artwork was hung
in Edventure for everyone to
come and see.
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about language.
His family has a rich cultural background.
When Robert and I worked
together on a language lesson
where we discussed African
American Language (or
Ebonics), Patois and
Standardized English, he told
me that he had already knew
about other languages, such
as Gullah. He told me that his
dad’s side is from Charleston
and his grandparents speak
Stated by Souto-Manning & Martell, “family
perspectives are invaluable and can afford Gullah and his mom’s side is
teachers a fuller picture of the child, including his from Virgin Islands and they
experiences, strengths, and histories. The teacher
may have information on how a particular child speak Crucian, which sounds
negotiates meaning and grows within a similar to Gullah.
classroom setting, but will always learn from the
child’s family and community members in order
to unveil his potential.” (2016)
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about reading. His
parents read with him at home and he loves it.

Robert loves reading. He

enjoys reading alone but loves
reading with his parents.
Robert told me that he reads
with his mom and dad at
home often and bedtime
stories are his favorite. He said
one of the most recent books
that his mom would read to
him was McElligot’s Pool by Dr.
Seuss. Robert says that
reading with his family helps
As mentioned in Reading, Writing, and Talk, “families
him with reading on his own contribute another layer of influence to children’s literacy. . .
and in school. Because different families and different cultural groups stress
different kinds of activities, knowledge, uses of language,
values, wok, social interactions, and social organization,
children develop knowledge differently. Individual, familial,
social, and cultural forces make each child’s literacy history
unique” (Souto-Manning & Martell, 2016).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot
about the library.
Robert talks about how
valuable the library is to him
often. Because he likes to
read, he tells me about
how he looks forward to
going to the library with his
class every Wednesday.
Robert says that he gets to
take books home from the
library and enjoys when his
parents read them to him
at bedtime. This is important As mentioned in Literacy in the Early Grades,
to him because it helps him “children whose parents have read to them
with reading and allows for every day and provided a variety of literacy
experiences do learn how to read before they
a family bonding activity. come to school” (Tompkins, 2015).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about words
that repeat.
During our second lesson together,
Robert and I read aloud together. It
turns out that Robert had already
read the book that I brought earlier
in the school year, but he didn’t
remember a lot of it so he wanted to
read it again. There were many
words that were repeated in the
story. One of the words, cows, was
on the first page and he said he did
not know that word. As we were
continued reading through the story,
we stumbled upon the word “cows” As stated by Tompkins, “automaticity is the
again. This time when he saw it later ability to recognize familiar words without
in the book, he said “that word is conscious thought, and to identify unfamiliar
words almost as quickly. It’s crucial that
cows!” His recognition of the word as children know most of the words they’re
it showed up more frequently shows reading because when they have to stop to
his fluency skills. decode words, their reading slows down”
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about

As Robert and I would read

together, he would point to the
illustrations and would predict
what would happen next. By using
his skills to draw inferences from
the pictures, Robert was able to
predict what would happen next.
He utilized this strategy in every
lesson we did together. This was As Tompkins describes
the most common way that he comprehension skills, she states
that “readers make thoughtful
would interact with the text. ‘guesses’ or predictions about
what will happen or what they’ll
learn in the book they’re
reading” (2015).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about
During our third lesson, the
book that Robert and I read
together had many vowel
combinations, such as –ou, -
ea, -ee, and –oo. When I
gave Robert some pieces of
paper that had words with
those vowel combinations, he
first read them aloud then
quickly put them in their
appropriate areas. This shows
his knowledge of vocabulary,
phonics, and spelling. As mentioned in Literacy in the
Early Grades, “children must be
familiar with consonant blends and
digraphs to read and spell these
words” (Tompkins, 2015).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about
speaking more than one language.
Robert and I worked together
on a multiple day contrastive
analysis lesson. On day 1, we
discussed what bilingualism
means. He quickly named a
person who is bilingual that he
knows, his Senora, the Spanish
teacher as well as a popular
cartoon character, Dora; both
of whom speak English and As mentioned in Reading, Writing, and
Talk, “it is also essential that teaching
Spanish. Robert explained that and learning centrally value the
sometimes Senora switches linguistic features employed by the
between English and Spanish so extended classroom community -
the students can understand including students, families, and
her in English and translate to community members – so that children
Spanish. come to see the diverse world in
which they live in terms of strengths”
(Souto-Manning & Martell, 2016).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about
Also on day 1, we talked
about some languages
that people who are
multilingual may speak.
He told me that he knows
a lot about Spanish and
can translate some
English words into
Spanish. He said “hola” As mentioned in La Historia de Mi
Nombre, a teacher can pique a
and “adios”. Robert said student’s interest by “sometimes
that he gets to work with leading with Spanish and sometimes
with English, modeling
Senora on his Spanish but translanguaging or speaking across
has also seen it spoken multiple languages and dialects to
‘maximize communicative potential’”
on tv. (Nash et al., 2017).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about African
American Language.
On day 2, Robert and I learned about
African American Language and how it
connects to West Africa. We also
discussed Patois, a language spoken in
Jamaica that also has ties to Africa. In
the process of discussing how African
languages made their way to the U.S.
and Jamaica, we talked about slavery as
well. Robert made an amazing point that
I never considered. He said that that
maybe the slaves and Harriett Tubman
used AAL, and that when they used the
underground railroad, which isn’t a real In What is Ebonics? (African American Vernacular
railroad, sometimes they had to talk in English), John Rickford explains, “Ebonics simply
codes, so others wouldn’t understand means ‘black speech’ (a blend of the words ebony
‘black’ and phonics ‘sounds’). . . In theory, scholars
them. When he completed the who prefer the term Ebonics (or African American
worksheet at the end of the lesson, he language) wish to highlight the African roots of
African American speech and its connections with
did great. languages spoken elsewhere in the Black Diaspora,
e.g. Jamaica or Nigeria” (2003).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about
To start Day 2 of our contrastive
analysis lesson together, Robert and
I watched a video of President
Barack Obama speaking Patois
when he visited Jamaica. Robert
asked if Barack Obama is bilingual,
a word that we discussed a week
before during day 1 of the lesson.
He also asked if in Jamaica, do they
also speak English and is that why
they could understand Barack
When teaching about translation, we must
Obama when he spoke both English “maintain the language of the student’s home
and Patois? Robert made the community while adding the linguistic tools needed
connection that people who speak for success in our broader society – the tools of
mainstream American English. In doing so, we can
more than one language often work with students to help them switch between
have to decide which one to use their different language styles – to code-switch, that
is – choosing the language variety appropriate to
based on their audience. the specific time, place, audience, and
communicative purpose” (Wheeler & Swords, 2003).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about making
connections to things he’s seen.
For all 4 of the reading lesson plans
that Robert and I did together, we
read books that had animals in them.
Because Robert loves animals, he
enjoyed reading books about them
and discussed how he has seen them
in zoos, as pets, and on tv. For
example, he drew a horse after one
of our readings and then drew a
cactus and a man riding the horse
with a cowboy hat. I asked Robert
why he drew the cactus and man,
and he said, “there were horses in the Souto-Manning & Martell state that
book and I saw a cowboy and this “based on the information from
plant on Wild Wild West.” He made observations and interviews, we are
connections to shows/movies he has better able to identify books that the
seen but also to real world children we teach might be interested
information. in.” (2016).
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about making
connections to his own experiences.
Robert made a personal
connection with the book,
Bippity Bop Barbershop. The
story is about a young black
boy who goes to the
barbershop with his father to
get a haircut. Robert could
relate to this since his dad
takes him to get haircuts as
well. After we finished reading
the book, Robert drew a
detailed picture of a
barbershop with clients in the
chair as barbers cut their hair,
with a spray bottle, clippers As mentioned in Reading, Writing, and
and scissors on the counter Talk, “teachers can build and expand on
and a poster with haircut students’ funds of knowledge by
styles to choose from. incorporating their interests and
expertise” (Souto-Manning & Martell,
Robert knows a lot, a whole lot about making
connections to his hobbies and his nickname.
Robert also made a personal
connection with the book, Dino-
Basketball. As we read, he would
comment on things in the book that he
could relate to in real life, such as
wearing a jersey to play a game,
dribbling a ball, and shooting the ball.
Because he plays basketball, he was
able to understand all of the terms
related to the sport, such as dribble,
rebound, layup, alley-oop, and more.
As I tried to elaborate on what a foul
was, he explained that he already
knew and that I could continue
reading. He drew one of the dinosaurs
from the story dunking the ball.
Another connection that Robert made
was that he noticed his nickname in
the text. He pointed it out and also
mentioned that he could tell the book
was rhyming.
Why I and Others Value Robert

Robert works so hard in

school. He is always engaged
and ready to work. He is a
dedicated student. Robert is
also so respectful. He always
says ma’am and sir when
addressing adults. And my
favorite thing about his, his
amazing artwork! He is so
talented with art and shows it
in so many ways. Robert told
me he enjoys painting and
drawing with markers, pencils,
crayons, and chalk. He is a
creative genius!
High Frequency Words that
Robert can read!
The Show

He/She That

Like See

They/Them Look

Said With

Is When
Challenging Words that
Robert can read!
Problem Crowded

Alone Electric

Return Scratch

Dodge Dart

Promise Serious
Reading Log
Here are the books that we read during our time together during
Spring 2018.
Letter to the Grant family
To Ms. Rose, Mr. Robert, and sisters
Asia and Zaria,
Thank you for welcoming me into
your beautiful home and sharing
about your family. You have an
amazing son and brother. Robert is so
smart and gifted. He is so grateful for
the love, support, bonding, and
things that you all do for him. With the
loving home that you provide for him,
I know that he will be successful in
anything that he wants to pursue.

To Robert,
Thank you for working with me during this Spring semester. I am so grateful
for the one on one experience to learn with you while I am learning how
to become a teacher. It meant the world to me. Please never let your love
for reading fade away; you are so intelligent. Continue with your art as
well; you are extremely talented. You will go so far.