Teaching Tony To Read: Session 2

By Christy


When I arrived for my second Targeted Reading session with Tony, he jumped up out of his chair and ran over to me to show me a book that he had read in class that day.  He was very excited because he was able to read the book all by himself and asked if he could read it to me.   It was great to see him reading with such confidence and while he was reading the book, he would point out some of the sight words that he learned in our last session that were in the book.  He told me that he used to not be able to read this book, but thanks to the new words he learned, he can now read it!


During our session when I introduced Tony to some words that have multiple meanings, he really struggled to understand that the words we were discussing could mean different things.  For example, one of the words we discussed was tip and he kept giving me examples that related to tipping something over.  After hinting to him ideas that tip could mean other things, Tony was still unable to come up another meaning.  I then asked him about when he goes to a restaurant with his parents and if they leave money on the table before they leave.  He told me they do and I explained to him that this was giving a tip.  To really make sure he understood what it means to give a tip, Tony and I role-played him leaving me a tip.

I then asked him if he ever tried to walk somewhere real quietly and walked on his tip toes, he laughed and told me he does it all of the time.  So again, I had him role play tip toeing down the hallway.  We also discussed giving someone advice and how that also is giving a tip too.  He then told me that I give him tips on reading, which I agreed.  Through good discussion and role playing, I really feel that Tony now has a much better understanding of each word we discussed and will remember each of their multiple meanings for future use.


My second session with Tony was even better than the first!  He was very enthusiastic again.  Today he opened up to me and I got to see more of who Tony really is.  We built upon many of the activities I introduced Tony to last week and he did a great job.  We started with blending words together by using a starter card (single consonant) and placing it next to vowel pattern card with the short /i/ sound on it (im, if, id, etc.).  Tony would practice building one word at a time and after he read each word, I would change the vowel pattern card to a new one.  Tony did a great job on this exercise and after awhile he was rapidly going through cards and building the words quickly and correctly.

We talked about the words hit, tip, and fit and discussed how all of these words had multiple meanings.  Getting past the initial meaning that pops into Tony’s head has been an issue for him, but through discussion, role playing, and using the words in sentences and drawing a picture to go along with them, he left our session fully aware of the different meanings for each of the three words.  I had Tony reread the stories he read for me last week and he read them both fluently.  He was so confident while reading them and it was great to see.

I introduced two new stories to Tony today to be his stories of the week.  One story was based around words with the short /a/ vowel sound and the other was based around words with the short /i/ vowel sound, which we had focused on earlier in our session.  These books were a little harder for Tony compared to the earlier ones and he did have to stop and sound out some of the words from time to time.  I left these stories for Tony to practice with until our next session and he told me he would have them perfected by then.

The last thing I worked on with Tony in our Targeted Reading session was continuing to read from a list of the most commonly used sight words.  I first asked Tony to read the ten words he was not able to read last week and he did so perfectly, mastering them all.  He was very proud of this accomplishment and showed it with his big grin.  We then continued going through sight words until Tony had another ten he was unable to read.  We made flashcards for those words and he said he would use those flashcards to study from so that in our next session they would become mastered words as well.

Tony is a very enthusiastic child, and it is so nice to work with him and watch his confidence level grow and to see the pure joy he gets from being able to read.  Learning to read can be a difficult process, but as I am seeing with Tony it can be very rewarding.  It is such a pleasure watching his reading ability grow.

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