A while back I wrote about a student who was dealing with a horrifically traumatic event in her life. It tears me up to even think about her life outside of school. She's been in a reading group with the absolutely amazing special ed teacher with whom I co-teach. When we reorganized our reading groups recently I took her on. We've had numerous discussions about this student, both because of the outside issues and academic concerns. However, I underestimated her challenges in reading.
The book we were reading recently had the word 'that' on almost every page. She was reading words I thought were more difficult so I decided we should tackle this one. She read the 'at' chunk in it just fine and knew the 'th' sound for the start. But she couldn't put the parts together to save her life. So I pulled out the little white board and we looked at lots of 'at' words. Interestingly enough she could read almost all of them. She never could get 'pat' right, she said 'put' or 'pan' each time. She also never read 'bat' correctly. She read 'but' always. And, of course, she never did get 'that'. I finally just told her the word, had her reread the sentence and move on. However, she came upon 'that' on subsequent pages and could never read it. I have no idea where we go next!