Once upon a time, there was a little first grade boy who had given up on reading. He came to class each day very reluctantly, and he wasted his time during reading class moving about the room, exploring things. When he came to his desk and was handed a book to read, he threw it to the floor. When the teacher picked it up and placed it on his desk, he brushed it off onto the floor. When the teacher picked up the book , opened it, and sat down next to the little boy to read it with him, he turned away. He had been unable to learn to read during the past year, so he had just given up on reading.

The teacher decided to leave his desk bookless, and began to teach spelling to the group, using The Sounds Of Words. The little boy refused to look at the blackboard or attempt any words. But he sat in his seat and he heard the lesson. Several days went by. Then one day, the little boy watched and listened as the teacher helped the students decode and practice their spelling words. Then he decided to attempt a word. The teacher helped him decode that word. The next time the teacher put the book on the student's desk, he left it there. Finally he opened the book and began looking at it. At that point, the teacher began teaching him the information in the book. When he realized that he learned when taught with the universal word, explicit teaching, concrete, multi-sensory, applied phonics, reading intervention, he slowly began reading, writing, and spelling words.

After a few years, the once little boy left that classroom and went to another school. The teacher hoped he was doing well. Years passed. Then one day the boy's mother met the teacher while shopping. "I just want to thank you so much for helping J," she said. "You taught him to read, and this year he graduated from high school!" More years passed. Then the teacher saw the mother again while shopping. "How is J doing?" asked the teacher. "Just fine," his mother replied. "He has a good job, and is married, and has two children."

Hearing all that made the teacher's heart glad. She knew she had helped that little boy!

Anita Landoll

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