why can’t the tooth fairy come every week?

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I’ve followed Carol, from Carol’s Corner for at least a year.  I love when she blogs about her boys, when she blogs about her class, when she blogs about Donald Graves and I especially loved when she did the ‘slice’ challenge last year.  


A while ago, she was talking about hearing the great early educator Sharon Taberski talk about how important ‘background knowledge’ is and how we jump so quickly to teach a new strategy when what they really need is the BK, that’s what I like to call it.  

This is going to be a little bit of true confessionsright nowI hope I don’t get in trouble when I say itI love the Tooth Fairy passage on this particular assessment in 2nd grade.  Every week we have to do a passage , a one minute, fluency timing and it serves as a record of their progress, or a lack of progress in reading, imagine a timed one minute passagesighI know most of you know what I’m talkin’ about.  Well, I discovered last year that my second graders did amazingly well on the ‘tooth fairy’ passage, I mean, they actually read about twenty-five words faster than they normally do.  

Well, this year, I confess, I gave the tooth fairy passage twiceto boost their sweet little reading hearts.They did great the first time they took it and they did great the second time also.  Each one said, after the passage, ‘wow, that was a good story and I did good.’  Bless their sweet little trying hearts, they all know about those fairies that visit under their pillows many times during grades one and two.  BK, the one acronym that matters…and I just might give that same passage again before this year is out.  Just thought of something, maybe my first graders would do well on it too…kinders…they can’t wait until the tooth fairy comes to visit… hmm…
and so it goes.  

Snip snap, over and out:) 
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About ...never ending story

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

8 responses »

  1. First, I love your title (Two Years and Finishing Strong). Five years for me and I feel like you…I want to keep doing this because there is passion for it.

    Second…Sharon Taberski is a was woman. BK makes all the difference for all readers. Put a physics book in my hands and see how fast I can read! I don’t think the two physics classes I took in high school prepared me enough do get 3’s on the DRA rubric.

  2. Thanks so much for your kind words! I am always amazed when anyone reads anything I write. The slices haven’t come as easily this spring, not sure why…

    Think you (and Sharon Taberski) are so right on point about this. Kids can read what they know and care about. And yeah, they can even read it faster.

    A funny tooth fairy story- a few years ago, I was teaching a first and second grade class. I had spent a lot of time organizing the library and teaching the kids about how to put the books back in the correct baskets so that other people could find them. I had one book about the tooth fairy, however, that kept ending up in what I thought was the wrong basket. Kids kept putting it with nonfiction all about books. Finally I asked them about it, and realized, stupid me, that to their six and seven year old eyes, the tooth fairy was real, and this book belonged with other “all about” books. Guess where that book lived for the rest of the year!

  3. What a great insight into BK. I think students do much better on assessments with this knowledge. They also enjoy passages they can connect to. We have a vocabulary program with eight tier two words introduced each week. Part of the work with the words involved reading a short story and responding to it using the words they are studying. Yesterday the story was one my 5th grade students didn’t connect to at all involving kids and a dragon. No surprise, their writing wasn’t as rich as it has been for other stories. I think we not only need to provide BK, but also make sure assessments connect to our learners. This will lead to success. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love Taberski and I read and reread her thinking because it is so Duh! that makes sense. Have you read Comprehension from the Ground Up? It is a great piece to follow up from On Solid Ground. How can anyone be expected to read something fluently if they don’t have the background knowledge on the topic? Too bad there aren’t more passages that the kids can relate to in your assessment.

  5. Yeay for Sharon Taberski, BK in all things, and the Tooth Fairy. Boo for timed fluency passages and the emphasis on speed. Good for you for letting them feel good about all they know when they read the passage they related to – time and again!

  6. Well, that makes sense! Of course they know all about the tooth fairy. What baffles me is that they don’t even balk at the fact that she is unconcerned about equal opportunity. She gives some $20 per tooth, and some $1 per tooth, and they never even question her. You made your point eloquently.

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