Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gary and the Golden Girls

When I sat down with Gary, he told me all the TV shows he likes to watch. Instead of telling me some of the hi-jinks the characters got themselves into, he wanted to write their names. He’d list the characters from Happy Days, often asking me for help with spelling. I found that if I left him to himself for a moment, Gary would figure out at least the first letter on his own. If I carefully sounded out the word, he would most often get the next few letters as well. We went through Gilligan’s Island, Andy Griffith, and I Love Lucy. Unfortunately, neither of us could remember all the characters’ names in Golden Girls, but we gave it our best shot!

Once Gary wrote all of his favorite TV shows, he started naming some animals he’d seen at the zoo.

Again, he was usually able to spell these on his own, needing help only when I suggested he add “elephant” and “giraffe” to the list. When he decided to title this list “Zoo,” he needed a little guidance about how to shape the “Z” – he instinctively went the other way, like an “S”.

 After filling six pages with words, we started from the beginning and read back over everything. Gary was usually able to read the words, but sometimes he knew them only from memory, or from hints I’d give about the TV show.

Working with Gary on basic reading and writing skills as opposed to the creativity of telling a story was really interesting to me. I’m sure my teaching methods weren’t the best, because I have no experience with this, but it’s definitely something I’d like to explore. It’d really help the storytelling project become much more than what it currently is.


  1. Oh! I cry! That you don't know the names of all the Golden Girls. Next time, phone a friend (that would be me)

    1. All I know about the Golden Girls is that they eat cheesecake when one has a bad dream!


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