Today during Writing Workshop, we worked on finishing our second books. Most sprouts are either done or almost done with their second masterpieces… Martin was not one of them.

Martin is a bright little boy with a plethora of skills, but he just can’t get out of his own way. He usually does write during our workshop, but getting more than a word or two down is painful for him. It’s very hard for him to sit still and focus on his work. I wanted him to have a new book to share at our next celebration and I knew he was capable if I kept on task so I sat down with him to work.

In the fifteen minutes we had left for workshop, Martin was able to think of an idea and write the first three sentences of his story. It was still a struggle, but with me prodding him along, he was more than capable of writing most of the sounds and all sight words in his story. The problem is with his attention. Writing the word ‘then’ sounded something like this:

Me: ‘then’ what sound do you hear first?
Martin: /th/, look, I’m sticking my tongue out like you showed us! /th/, /th/, /th/ (with his tongue sticking out really far)
Me: Good, do you remember the two letters that make the /th/ sound?
Martin: No, I’ll go look! (He jumps up and runs over to our blends poster – points right at the ‘th’ and shouts ‘TH!’)
Me: (trying to keep up with him) Yes, ‘TH’ is right, ok back to your story… (me prodding him back his table)
Me: OK, your word is ‘then’ – write your ‘t’ and ‘h’…
Martin: (writing a ‘t’) T! I have a ‘t’ in my name! t, t, t, t, t, t, t, t… (Finally he writes a ‘t’)
Me: Now the…
Martin: H! /H/ Horse, hey, I saw a horse on the TV! Horsey, horsey, horsey, horsey… (Finally he writes the ‘h’)

I won’t continue with the ‘e’ and ‘n’ in ‘then’, but suffice it to say, Martin had lots to say about both letters. After finally finishing his third sentence, it was time to end Writing Workshop. He turned to me and asked, “Will you help me finish at Center Time?”

“Of course Martin, you only need two more sentences and you’ll be ready for a book,” I said.

“I have a compliment for you,” Martin announced.

“Oh, go ahead, I love compliments,” I replied.

“Thank you,” he smiled and gave me a huge hug.

I made sure to really hug him back. We both deserved it.

Martin did finish his story during Centers. He just needed someone with a little patience to take the time to help keep him on task. Tomorrow, he’ll be ready to copy it into a book… a considerable accomplishment for both of us.


Linda said...

This made me smile so much!! I work with special needs children and have a couple that popped in my head as I read your post! :-)

~A said...

It's so wonderful that he has you to encourage him! Keep up the good work!