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In a flash Sammy darts his hands into the bin of Cuisenaire® Rods on my arm, pulling out an additional big double handful for himself. Quietly, I hold out my hand for Sammy to return his double handful. "Just a few, Sammy," I remind him calmly. As quickly as he had grabbed the rods, Sammy throws them at my face. Rods rain down. The look on Sammy's face shows that he's as surprised as I am. His classmates look stunned.
Thus begins Caltha Crowe's year-long journey with a challenging but charming third grader. Through rich and engrossing stories, complemented with journal entries sharing her doubts and struggles, triumphs and "Aha!" moments, this experienced teacher draws you into her "never quit" efforts to help Sammy gain control of his behavior so that he-and his classmates-can learn.
This book will give you strategies and structures you can use to help the "Sammy" in your own classroom. It will also tug at your heart and remind you of your best intentions in becoming a teacher.
Part 1 Beginnings: The First Six Weeks of School
1 Getting to Know Sammy 13
2 Friends 23
3 Tantrums, Writing Struggles, and the Beginnings of Self-Control 36
Part 2 Settling In: October through December
4 Coaching for Success 53
5 Days of Peaceful Learning, Days of Turmoil 62
6 The Passion Study 77
Part 3 Growth in the New Year: January through March
7 Easing Back into the Rhythms of School 88
8 Progress in "the Friends Department" 99
9 Relationships with Other Adults 109
10 Moving toward Independent Learning 115
Part 4 The End of the Year: April through June
11 The Totem Pole Project 123
12 Celebrating Growth at Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences 136
13 Book Clubs 142
14 The Last Six Weeks of School 152
Resources for Further Learning 163
About the Author 167