This week I read Leo the Snow leopard, and Help I'm stuck In My Sisters Body! Still the question of how authors are able to write books at the various levels a child can read and comprehend evades me. I don't know why this question has been nagging the back of my mind, but it has. Maybe it is my incessant need to KNOW everything my mind becomes curious about. I keep wondering how authors can know what words certain children at specific target levels can understand. Do they really know or do they simply write a book they think children will like and understand and then leave it up to the publishers and other professionals of different specialties decide? If I were teaching a class of fifth and sixth graders I would teach a unit with this question at the forefront. We might read a book and then debate how they think it is done, followed by research and a final project showcasing their new found knowledge. This is however reality and I am not a fifth or sixth grade teacher, so I am not able to utilize students brains as a tool for feeding my own curiosity. There are so many books out there available for curious minds like mine to enjoy, and I hope and pray everyday that I might be able to foster a love for curiosity in reading that I myself have.
This thought brings to my mind a student case I have been presented with. This young student "who will soon be in my charge", has been somehow unnoticed over the years and labeled as a "lazy and
uninterested" student. This individual is reading now three years below grade level and is of the opinion he/she is just not smart. This student is in one of my math groups and has proven to be average for the age in intelligence, and is definitely not slow-minded what so ever, but I do not believe the reading level exhibited is intentional on the students part either. The question that has been burning in my mind is how in the world has this gone unnoticed so far. Why is it the students that exhibit behavioral disruptions almost immediately go ignored by the people who are supposed to see that as an immediate sign of something deeper? Students who notice they are different tend to present emotional/behavioral patterns to distract others from noticing, so why wouldn't we as professionals watch this student closer and investigate instead of immediately posting a label on them?