I tutor a second grader with reading from my home. He has a sister in first grade. I also tutor her at a different time. The siblings are at about the same level. That means the second grader is below the level of an average first grader. My second grade student gets frustrated and has been struggling for 2 years everyday! He is difficult to teach, because he wants to do everything on his own. When I try to show him something, it makes him mad. (I'm thinking he has some issues from this. http://www.reading2008.com/blog )
Yesterday I had a great lesson planned. I started with magnetic letters. I'm trying to teach him to blend the first two letters in a word. He has a habit of making the first sound, pausing, and then trying to read the rest of the word as a chunk. He often mixes up the order of letters.
My student got frustrated and tried to stop me from using the magnetic letters. I couldn't think of how else to teach this skill. He said, "This is why I don't like coming here. You never listen to me." I stopped and listened. He said, "I like writing. Can't I write?"
I taught him some cursive writing in other sessions. I let him write the first two sounds in cursive. He blended the sounds together perfectly. He enjoyed the practice and did well! After he blended the sounds verbally, I held up a magnetic letter for the ending sound of a word. He blended the whole word together! It was the most productive session we've had!
The Lesson: We learn when we listen!