I hate it when I realize that I'm getting frustrated with my students because I'm sending them mixed messages.
During guided reading groups I tend to get really irritated when students are struggling with a word and keep looking at me rather than at the word. On a good day I can remind them once before I get too annoyed. But it keeps happening and I keep telling them they need to look at the word in order to read it.
On Friday it hit me that one of the life skills we work really hard on all the time is making eye contact. I greet them at the door each morning and keep telling them good morning until they are making eye contact as we speak. We greet each other during morning meeting and work hard on our eye contact. When I conference with students about their reading or writing I work on eye contact as we talk. It tends to be difficult for many young kids to make eye contact regularly so it is something we practice often.
Then they sit down to read with me and I chastise them for making eye contact. Sigh.
This week I will work on encouraging them to look at the word they are struggling to read without frustration and without suggesting that looking at me is a bad thing to do.