Thursday, November 06, 2008

Walking the Line

I go in to Peyton's classroom on Thursday mornings to help the kids take their Accelerated Reading (AR) tests. There's one little boy that is so far beyond the other kids it's just amazing. Most of the kids read on a 1.0-1.7 reading level and their tests are 5 questions long, multiple choice and count .5 points. The group of students I generally help on Thursdays normally score between a 3-5 out of 5, but this little boy ALWAYS scores a 5 and he flies through his tests.

Over the last couple of weeks, his reading level has just gone up and up. The book he read today was a 2.7 and he actually had 10 questions for his test. When he finished, he had scored an 8 out of 10 and he was absolutely devastated. So much, that he started to cry a little. His poor little face was red, and his nose was runny. I squatted down beside him and asked what was wrong and he said, "I told my mom it was going to be a bad day." My heart broke for him. While most of the kids have accumulated 5 points total, he has at least 20.

I tried to comfort him as best I could, but he just didn't want to hear it. I told him how hard the test was he took and how many questions he had to answer. Then I pointed to the points board and said, "Look how many points you have!" He walked back to his desk and I gave him a tissue. I could just tell that he would start to be ok and then think about it again and start to cry again.

When I took Peyton's teacher the tests, I told her how upset he was, so when she got to his, she made a big deal about how well he had done, telling him that she didn't think she could even do that good. When I left, he looked like he felt a little better, but I just wanted to cry along with him.

Poor little guy. He's only in first grade and already upset about missing two questions on a test that is almost 2 grades above his level. I'm going to send his mom an e-mail to let her know and hopefully, she will do a little something special with him tonight.

I have to brag on Peyton too. Even though he's still stumbling over some words and he gets frustrated when he doesn't know a word, he used some great deductive reasoning today while taking his test. It would figure that the word he couldn't read was the right answer, but he was able to read all the wrong answers. In doing so, he told me, "I know these three aren't right, so it has to be this one." and it was. I think that skill is just as important as always knowing the right answers.


tamara said...

That poor little guy has a very long life ahead of him!! I feel his pain... it is tough to always want to be perfect. I was devestated when I didn't get perfect attendance in 2nd grade (and YOU did!!). Oh to go back to those "problems".

Chelle said...

That just breaks my heart. Poor guy.

He's lucky he has you in his corner.

SuZ said...

Eck... poor kid.

Posey said...

So much pressure for a little guy to put on himself.

Rebecca said...

I have to admit I almost teared up for this little guy!

carrie said...

AR test can be so hard for little kids! Todd did not pass his first one because he got test anxiety. Unfortunately, he got this from me. He has made 100% on all of them since because his mom, the teacher, new what kinds of questions they asked and helped him. That poor little boy. He does have a long road ahead. Peyton had a really good strategy!!