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Archive for the ‘Reading’ Category

Phonetic Dyslexia

Treat Reading Problem Symptoms

Treat the Symptoms of Reading Problems

Let’s get straight to the point on this one: Phonetic Dyslexia? Phony Bologna. Oh, by the way… Don’t buy ocean front property in Kansas, either. Just a public service announcement.

As an M.A. reading specialist, diagnostician, reading intervention teacher, and educational author, my Pennington Publishing Blog reaches quite a diverse audience. My target audience is teachers, because I use the blog to market my assessment-based ELA and reading intervention resources to my colleagues. However, I often get article comments and questions from parents (and even students). I try to respond to those which pertain to an educational trend, which I find baffling; to those which have a dubious research base; to those which I consider to be educational malpractice; and to those which defy common sense. The following question posted by a parent on my “Teaching Your Child to Read Well” article hit the quadfecta… all four criteria for my response.

Following are the parent’s questions and my response:June 30th, 2018 at 05:42

My son was diagnosed with a phonetic dyslexia? I have no experience with dyslexia of any kind. Can you suggest some reading exercises that we can use at home to help children with this issue? The school system was ill-equipped to teach on a case by case basis. Is this something that will follow him into his adult years? Are there any tools you know of available to help him?

Melania (I couldn’t resist),

I’m sure you are doing everything possible to help your child learn to read well. When children have reading difficulties which do not seem to be addressed by their teachers and site specialists, parents often seek outside help by so-called experts. A bit of advice for you, your son, and for other parents in the same general boat:

  1. Always take advantage of public school resources. Even those of you who have placed your kids in charter or private schools. Your tax dollars support public schools, and you and your children should benefit from their expertise. Start with your local school.
  2. Don’t fully trust experts (even me!). Reading is complicated stuff; we know some practical matters about reading instruction, such as how and what to teach, but we really don’t yet understand why students haven’t learned it. Maybe someday we will understand, but brain research is in its infancy. Think you’ll be interested in my article, “Dyslexia Is Not Real.” I would certainly be interested in the qualifications and experience of the diagnostician.
  3. Don’t ditch your common sense. If a reading therapy (there are plenty out there) sounds weird or counter-intuitive, don’t explore the approach. I liken some reading approaches to fad diets. If your child’s educational psychologist is treating your son’s reading problems by having him practice crawling on the floor, because he never learned to crawl as a baby, and because a statistical correlation exists in the literature between children who never crawled and children who experience reading problems, this reading therapy is akin to a grapefruit only diet. Yes, both were real approaches to reading and weight problems back in the early 1970s.
  4. Be practical: Treat the symptoms, not the cause. While it may be to your long-term advantage to understand what is causing your stress headaches, it is always in your short-term advantage to take a pain reliever. Again, we don’t fully understand the causes of your son’s reading challenges, but we can certainly identify and treat the symptoms. Following are user-friendly reading assessments to identify the symptoms. Free to use!
  5. The problem with the term, dyslexia, is that the International Dyslexia Association defines the symptoms (phonics deficits, perhaps) as a learning disability. From the IDA website:

The International Dyslexia Association offers a variety of definitions regarding dyslexia (bolded terms mine):

“Dyslexia is a neurological condition caused by a different wiring of the brain. There is no cure for dyslexia and individuals with this condition must learn coping strategies” (https://dyslexiaida.org/dyslexia-at-a-glance/).

In other words, your son’s reading problems would be a lifelong challenge “that will follow him into his adult years.” Don’t buy into that way of thinking. Treat the problems; don’t add on a label to your child.

Now, I’m guessing that your diagnostician is probably right about your son’s phonetic deficits. Phonics challenges are usually the culprits (or phonological awareness) when students are reading significantly below grade level. However, this diagnosis offers no cure. To find the proper course of treatment, properly identify the patient’s specific symptoms (the individual phonics deficits) and target your treatment (teaching and practice) accordingly.

Make sense? Take care, Mark

Yes, you’ll need resources to teach to these diagnostic deficits. For your child’s “Phonetic Dyslexia,” the corresponding teaching resources are found in my Teaching Reading Strategies and Sam and Friends Guided Reading Books.

*****

Mark Pennington, MA Reading Specialist, is the author of the comprehensive reading intervention curriculum, Teaching Reading Strategies. My own snake oil to sell 🙂 Designed to significantly increase the reading abilities of students ages eight through adult within one year, the curriculum is decidedly un-canned, is adaptable to various instructional settings, and is simple to use–a perfect choice for Response to Intervention tiered instruction. The program provides multiple-choice diagnostic reading and spelling assessments (many with audio files), phonemic awareness activities, blending and syllabication activitiesphonics workshops (explicit, systematic phonics instruction) with formative assessments, 102 spelling pattern worksheets, comprehension worksheets, multi-level fluency passages recorded at three different reading speeds and accessed on YouTube, 644 reading, spelling, and vocabulary game cards, posters, activities, and games.

Also get the accompanying Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books. These 54 decodable eBooks (includes print-ready and digital display versions) have been designed for older readers with teenage cartoon characters and plots. Each book introduces focus sight words and phonics sound-spellings aligned to the instructional sequence found in Teaching Reading Strategies. Plus, each book has a 30-second word fluency to review previously learned sight words and sound-spelling patterns, five higher-level comprehension questions, and an easy-to-use running record. Your students will love these fun, heart-warming, and comical stories about the adventures of Sam and his friends: Tom, Kit, and Deb. Oh, and also that crazy dog, Pug.

Teaching Reading Strategies and Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books BUNDLE

Teaching Reading Strategies and Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books

Or why not get both programs as a discounted BUNDLE? Everything teachers need to teach an assessment-based reading intervention program for struggling readers is found in this comprehensive curriculum. Ideal for students reading two or more grade levels below current grade level, tiered response to intervention programs, ESL, ELL, ELD, and special education students. Simple directions, YouTube training videos, and well-crafted activities truly make this an almost no-prep curriculum. Works well as a half-year intensive program or full-year program.

What do teachers have to say about the program?

I just visited your website and, oh my, I actually felt my heart leap with joy! I am working with one class of ESL students and two classes of Read 180 students with behavior issues and have been struggling to find methods to address their specific areas of weakness. I am also teaching three senior level English classes and have found them to have serious deficits in many critical areas that may impact their success if they are attending college level courses in a year’s time. I have been trying to find a way to help all of them in specific and measurable ways – and I found you! I just wanted to thank you for creating these explicit and extensive resources for students in need. Thank you!

Cathy Ford

By the way, I got Sam and Friends a few weeks ago, and I love it. I teach ESL in S Korea. Phonics is poorly taught here, so teaching phonics means going back to square one. Fortunately, Sam and Friends does that and speeds up pretty quickly. I also like that I can send it home and not charge the parents – we all love that.  I like it a lot! It’s also not about something stupid, like cats and dogs. 

Joseph Curd

I work with a large ELL population at my school.Through my research in best practices, I know that spelling patterns and word study are so important. However, I just couldn’t find anything out there that combines the two. The grade level spelling program and remediation are perfect for my students. 

Heidi

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FREE Grade 7 Vocabulary Word Lists

Grade 7 Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 7

If you really want to teach all of the Common Core vocabulary standards this year, you’ve got to have this FREE resource!

The FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 7 may just be that wheel you don’t have to reinvent with your grade-level team this summer. This research-based word list consists of Tier 2 words, developed from Averil Coxhead’s high frequency Academic Word List. The perfect resource for teaching the CCSS grade 7 L.6.0 vocabulary standards.

In addition to these academic language words, I’ve included twice-per-week word or focus lists of the following: multiple meaning words and context clues (L.4.a.; Greek and Latin word parts (L.4.a.c.d.); Language Resources (L.4.c.d.); word relationships (L.5.a.); figures of speech (L.5.a.); and connotations (L.5.c.) to complete a comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence that is perfectly aligned to the Grade 7 Common Core Language Strand vocabulary standards. Just plug these into your grade-level curricular map and you are good to go!

Of course, I’m providing this resource to entice teachers to check out my full-year Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 programs, which provide the lessons and alignment documents to teach to this curricular map. In a nutshell, these grade-level programs provide twice-per-week worksheets (with answers), vocabulary flashcards with games, a complete syllabication program, and bi-weekly tests. Get your colleagues at your site to purchase their grade-level programs to establish a seamless instructional vocabulary continuum from grade to grade for your students.

Download the FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 7 plus the comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence HERE from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click to purchase or check out the extensive previews for the grade-level Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit programs:

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 4

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 5

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 6

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 7

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 8

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but you can get the Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit on my own site for 10% off if you enter DISCOUNT CODE 3716. CLICK HERE.

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FREE Grade 6 Vocabulary Word Lists

Grade 6 Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 6

If you really want to teach all of the Common Core vocabulary standards this year, you’ve got to have this FREE resource!

The FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 6 may just be that wheel you don’t have to reinvent with your grade-level team this summer. This research-based word list consists of Tier 2 words, developed from Averil Coxhead’s high frequency Academic Word List. The perfect resource for teaching the CCSS grade 6 L.6.0 vocabulary standards.

In addition to these academic language words, I’ve included twice-per-week word or focus lists of the following: multiple meaning words and context clues (L.4.a.; Greek and Latin word parts (L.4.a.c.d.); Language Resources (L.4.c.d.); word relationships (L.5.a.); figures of speech (L.5.a.); and connotations (L.5.c.) to complete a comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence that is perfectly aligned to the Grade 6 Common Core Language Strand vocabulary standards. Just plug these into your grade-level curricular map and you are good to go!

Of course, I’m providing this resource to entice teachers to check out my full-year Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 programs, which provide the lessons and alignment documents to teach to this curricular map. In a nutshell, these grade-level programs provide twice-per-week worksheets (with answers), vocabulary flashcards with games, a complete syllabication program, and bi-weekly tests. Get your colleagues at your site to purchase their grade-level programs to establish a seamless instructional vocabulary continuum from grade to grade for your students.

Download the FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 6 plus the comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence HERE from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click to purchase or check out the extensive previews for the grade-level Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit programs:

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 4

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 5

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 6

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 7

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 8

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but you can get the Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit on my own site for 10% off if you enter DISCOUNT CODE 3716. CLICK HERE.

Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FREE Grade 5 Vocabulary Word Lists

Grade 5 Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 5

If you really want to teach all of the Common Core vocabulary standards this year, you’ve got to have this FREE resource!

The FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 5 may just be that wheel you don’t have to reinvent with your grade-level team this summer. This research-based word list consists of Tier 2 words, developed from Averil Coxhead’s high frequency Academic Word List. The perfect resource for teaching the CCSS grade 5 L.6.0 vocabulary standards.

In addition to these academic language words, I’ve included twice-per-week word or focus lists of the following: multiple meaning words and context clues (L.4.a.; Greek and Latin word parts (L.4.a.c.d.); Language Resources (L.4.c.d.); word relationships (L.5.a.); figures of speech (L.5.a.); and connotations (L.5.c.) to complete a comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence that is perfectly aligned to the Grade 5 Common Core Language Strand vocabulary standards. Just plug these into your grade-level curricular map and you are good to go!

Of course, I’m providing this resource to entice teachers to check out my full-year Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 programs, which provide the lessons and alignment documents to teach to this curricular map. In a nutshell, these grade-level programs provide twice-per-week worksheets (with answers), vocabulary flashcards with games, a complete syllabication program, and bi-weekly tests. Get your colleagues at your site to purchase their grade-level programs to establish a seamless instructional vocabulary continuum from grade to grade for your students.

Download the FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 5 plus the comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence HERE from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click to purchase or check out the extensive previews for the grade-level Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit programs:

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 4

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 5

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 6

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 7

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 8

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but you can get the Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit on my own site for 10% off if you enter DISCOUNT CODE 3716. CLICK HERE.

Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FREE Grade 4 Vocabulary Word Lists

Grade 4 Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 4

If you really want to teach all of the Common Core vocabulary standards this year, you’ve got to have this FREE resource!

The FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 4 may just be that wheel you don’t have to reinvent with your grade-level team this summer. This research-based word list consists of Tier 2 words, developed from Averil Coxhead’s high frequency Academic Word List. The perfect resource for teaching the CCSS grade 4 L.6.0 vocabulary standards.

In addition to these academic language words, I’ve included twice-per-week word or focus lists of the following: multiple meaning words and context clues (L.4.a.; Greek and Latin word parts (L.4.a.c.d.); Language Resources (L.4.c.d.); word relationships (L.5.a.); figures of speech (L.5.a.); and connotations (L.5.c.) to complete a comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence that is perfectly aligned to the Grade 4 Common Core Language Strand vocabulary standards. Just plug these into your grade-level curricular map and you are good to go!

Of course, I’m providing this resource to entice teachers to check out my full-year Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 programs, which provide the lessons and alignment documents to teach to this curricular map. In a nutshell, these grade-level programs provide twice-per-week worksheets (with answers), vocabulary flashcards with games, a complete syllabication program, and bi-weekly tests. Get your colleagues at your site to purchase their grade-level programs to establish a seamless instructional vocabulary continuum from grade to grade for your students.

Download the FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 4 plus the comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence HERE from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click to purchase or check out the extensive previews for the grade-level Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit programs:

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 4

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 5

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 6

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 7

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 8

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but you can get the Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit on my own site for 10% off if you enter DISCOUNT CODE 3716. CLICK HERE.

Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FREE Grade 8 Vocabulary Word Lists

Grade 8 Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 8

If you really want to teach all of the Common Core vocabulary standards this year, you’ve got to have this FREE resource!

The FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 8 may just be that wheel you don’t have to reinvent with your grade-level team this summer. This research-based word list consists of Tier 2 words, developed from Averil Coxhead’s high frequency Academic Word List. The perfect resource for teaching the CCSS grade 8 L.6.0 vocabulary standards.

In addition to these academic language words, I’ve included twice-per-week word or focus lists of the following: multiple meaning words and context clues (L.4.a.; Greek and Latin word parts (L.4.a.c.d.); Language Resources (L.4.c.d.); word relationships (L.5.a.); figures of speech (L.5.a.); and connotations (L.5.c.) to complete a comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence that is perfectly aligned to the Grade 8 Common Core Language Strand vocabulary standards. Just plug these into your grade-level curricular map and you are good to go!

Of course, I’m providing this resource to entice teachers to check out my full-year Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 programs, which provide the lessons and alignment documents to teach to this curricular map. In a nutshell, these grade-level programs provide twice-per-week worksheets (with answers), vocabulary flashcards with games, a complete syllabication program, and bi-weekly tests. Get your colleagues at your site to purchase their grade-level programs to establish a seamless instructional vocabulary continuum from grade to grade for your students.

Download the FREE Vocabulary Word List Grade 8 plus the comprehensive vocabulary instructional scope and sequence HERE from Teachers Pay Teachers.

Click to purchase or check out the extensive previews for the grade-level Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit programs:

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 4

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 5

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 6

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 7

Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit Grade 8

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but you can get the Common Core Vocabulary Toolkit on my own site for 10% off if you enter DISCOUNT CODE 3716. CLICK HERE.

Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Reading Flashcards and Games

644 Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Flashcards and 60 Games

Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Flashcards and Games

644 Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Flashcards (Digital Files) and 60 games for only $7.99. You print, cut, and play! The perfect summer resource to get your kids ready for school in the fall. You will use these over and over again! Ideal for all kids ages 4-12. Designed by a reading specialist. Buy them HERE.

These 644 Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Flashcards and 60 Games have been designed to support explicit and systematic phonics-based reading, vocabulary, and spelling instruction. The cards are included in Mark Pennington’s Teaching Reading Strategies and accompanying Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books, but the flashcards can also supplement any reading or spelling program.

The cards use animal photographs for the sound-spelling flashcards, not juvenile cartoonish characters. Perfect for beginning readers. Ideal for older readers: Tier 1 and 2 intervention, special education students with auditory processing challenges, English-language learners. Fantastic for family vacations or waiting in the doctor’s office with your own kid!

You get two digital versions of these flashcards with your purchase.

  1. Print and Cut for Games

Print on heavy duty colored cardstock and cut. The cards are formatted for business card size, so they are ideal for spreading out on small surface areas (such as student desks) to play blending and spelling games. Print back-to-back or single-sided. You need the printed cards to play most of the games. Note: Or why not take them to your favorite office supply store. They can print them in full color and cut them on their business card cutting machines. Easy and cheap!

  1. Digital Device Display

Two download formats (phones and tablets) are provided. Of course, you need a zip file app to download on your devices. See Google Play or Apple Store. Note: Device formats differ, but the PDF formatting fits most devices nicely. Note that these files do not automatically adjust to display like epub, iBook, Kindle, etc. The program directions share how to further edit the PDF, should you wish to further refine. Be assured that I’ve tried them out on iPhones, Androids, iPads, etc. and they work great!

Each flashcard set includes the following:

Reading (Phonics and Sight Words)

*Alphabet cards (including upper and lower case with font variations)

*Animal sound-spelling vowel, vowel team, and consonant cards

*Consonant blend cards

*Sight-spelling “outlaw” word cards with word rhymes

*Rime (word family) cards with example words

Spelling

*Vowel spelling cards with example words

*Vowel team spelling cards with example words

*Consonant spelling cards with example words

*Consonant blend spelling cards with example words

*Most-often misspelled challenge word cards with example sentences

Vocabulary

*High frequency Greek and Latin prefix and suffix cards with definitions and example words

*Commonly confused homonyms with context clue sentences

60 Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Card Games

These Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Flashcards have been designed for games! Get 60 easy-to-play games with clear directions to help your students master reading, spelling, and vocabulary. Simple to set up and easy to play. You and your students will love these card games!

Convinced your kids need these 644 Reading, Spelling, and Vocabulary Flashcards (Digital Files) and 60 games for only $7.99? Buy them HERE.

Teaching Reading Strategies and Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books BUNDLE

Teaching Reading Strategies and Sam and Friends Guided Reading Phonics Books

Looking for a comprehensive reading intervention program, which includes these flashcards? The author’s Teaching Reading Strategies program includes diagnostic phonics and spelling assessments (audio files) to determine which gaps need filling and all the phonics and spelling resources to do just that. Plus, this full-year (or half-year intensive) program provides phonemic awareness and sight word assessments and corresponding activities, sound-spelling blending and syllabication practice, reading fluency (with YouTube modeled readings) articles with word counts and timing sheets, and expository comprehension worksheets with embedded vocabulary. Your students will love the animal sound-spelling card games! Video training modules make this a user-friendly program for both new and veteran teachers.

Or why not get the Teaching Reading Strategies and Guided Reading Phonics Books BUNDLE for the complete reading intervention program? The 54 Sam and Friends decodable books perfectly complement the instructional sequence of Teaching Reading Strategies. These eight-page phonics books have been specifically designed for your older readers with teenage cartoon characters with complex plots. Each book includes higher level comprehension questions and 30-second word fluencies. Your students can catch up while they keep up with grade-level instruction.

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School Absence Excuses

Funny School Absent Excuses

School Absent Excuses

No doubt you’ve heard a few of these. Following are my favorites from BuzzFeed’s collection, which has been gathered from school attendance clerks over the years. But, read past and I’ll provide one of my own that I think you will enjoy. Ah… truth is stranger than fiction.

I once told a teacher two weeks before a school concert that I wouldn’t be able to go because I would be sick. She just asked “you’ll be sick?” and when I nodded she just dropped it. She either believed in my ability to see into the future or thought my stupidity was just too much to even question.

Emmy Bloomberg, Facebook

Once during my high school spirit week, it was “superhero” Thursday. I didn’t have a costume and didn’t have time to buy/ make one… I had a genius idea… I skipped school that day, and then on Friday, everyone was demanding a reason why I wasn’t at school, and my excuse was, “I was here, I just came as the Invisible Woman.”

Submitted by mydnytestorme13

I used the excuse that I missed the bus for months, until the school caught on that I lived across the street. I could see my high school from my porch.

Submitted by carleighg

Jimmy Gordon’s Excuse

I’ve told quite a few people over the years about my student, Jimmy Gordon, and his excuse for cutting school. I’ve never put it into print until now. No, the name has not been changed to protect the innocent… because he certainly was not. Call this post “Teacher Payback.”

My first teaching job was at a grades 4-8 school in Sutter Creek, California. This beautiful Gold Rush town was split in two halves by Sutter Creek (hence the name). Good fishing, swimming, and gold panning in that creek!

In the spring of 1986, Jimmy Gordon transferred to our school from out of the area. Jimmy was an eighth-grader and I was his history teacher. Jimmy seemed like a nice kid and he made a few friends right away–something teachers (and parents) are always concerned about with a mid-year transfer.

A week before Open House, the principal called an emergency staff meeting to inform us that Jimmy Gordon’s dad had died suddenly. Jimmy had come in that morning, sobbing about his dad’s passing and telling us that the funeral was planned for the following week when relatives would arrive. Jimmy went home to console his mom.

The staff felt horrible and we quickly allocated money from our “Sunshine Fund” to send a bouquet of flowers and a card to Jimmy and his mom.

After Open House, the seventh and eighth grade teachers walked down to the local watering hole, “Berlotti’s” to unwind, per our custom. I sat down toward the end of the bar, next to a man a few years older than I. He was an outgoing sort and soon leaned over to me and said, “You all sound like teachers.”

I told him, “Yes, we just finished our Open House at Sutter Creek Elementary.”

“Oh really,” he replied, “My son just started school there a few week’s back.”

“What’s his name?” I stammered.

“Jimmy Gordon.”

+++++

Jimmy had been ditching school for a week, fishing in Sutter Creek.

Now, that’s a funny school absence excuse. When Jimmy returned to my class the next day, he didn’t say much. But I asked him anyway, “Were they biting? Jimmy just turned red and put his head down for the rest of the day.

Grammar/Mechanics, Literacy Centers, Reading, Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills, Writing , ,