As a specialist I hear many times from the classroom teacher, “Whoa!  He was able to do that with you?” or “No!  She isn’t using that strategy when she’s in group with me.”  These types of comments can be extremely frustrating for me AND the classroom teacher as the student is seemingly not transferring knowledge from me to the classroom or vice versa.

One of the things I decided to try with my 2nd and 3rd graders is a “What stuck with you?” chart.  (I wish I could say this was my own creation, but I stole the idea from Title 1 teacher, Erin Sale, from Lincoln, who is in my Reading Intervention cohort)  Today I had my students write on a post-it note something that “stuck with them” from our reading or writing conferences we had.  Things varied from “break down the word”, “the edge is my friend” (referring to filling the page and not just writing in the center of the paper) to “using capitals”.  My hope is that each student will really stop and think after each lesson about something that really stood out or stuck with them that they can use in the classroom when I am not there.

This worked really well with my 3rd graders.  They each very easily were able to talk about something we had conferenced about and made it their goal to work on for the next time.  This was a difficult task for my 2nd graders.  When I asked them what stuck with them about our conference, they each started talking about the story they had read or about their writing.  They weren’t mentioning anything we talked about that they needed to work on or a strategy they could use to help themselves at a later point.  It took a lot of discussing before we got to a point where they could write something down.  Perhaps in the next coming weeks we’ll do some goal setting and work our way up to using the “what stuck with you” chart.  I will continue to use this with my 3rd graders.  I’m excited to see in the coming weeks if there starts to be more of a transfer from the work they do with me to the work they do with their teacher.