Wild surmise

In the fall, the first-grade girl I tutor spent weeks — it may have been months — with a cat who sat on a mat. She couldn’t get “mat.”  Yesterday, reading about another cat, she sounded out “milk.” She read “rug” as “carpet,” then laughed, went back to “rug” and sounded it out. Her errors were understandable. “Jar” instead of “jug.” Progress.

The first-grade boy, who tested at grade level months ago, sped through an easy book he’d picked. I pulled out the first book in the Magic Tree House series, Dinosaurs Before Dark.

“I can’t read that,” he said. “It’s a chapter book.”

“You’re a good reader now,” I said. “Give it a try.”

He read it easily. When he finished the chapter, he looked amazed. “Look!,” he said. “Chapter 2!”

I told him to keep going. The kids find books with bookmarks in the treehouse, open a book and summon a pteranodon. I told him about the silent p. He wasn’t fazed. To his surprise and delight, he reached chapter 3.

Time had run out, so I made him a bookmark. “You can read more later,” I said.

He’ll read a lot more later.

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