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What strategies can I use as a teacher to

build confidence in beginning learners?

Stephanie Kaylor

In the Beginning
Meet Max

Max is a 5 year old kindergarten

student who attended preschool
at a different school prior
entering the Butler Lab School.
He is very family oriented and
willing to learn whatever you
place in front of him.

I chose to concentrate on and formulate my

question around Max because I recognized the
potential in him and wanted to help him recognize it in himself. Max showed
plenty of potential when I worked with him throughout the first few weeks of
practicum. I noticed he was lacking confidence and because of this he wasnt
working to the best of his ability. This sparked me to create a plan for Max and
see if I could help him reach his full potential. I first started by administering a few
assessments on Max to see where he was at so far. I administered the Letter ID
test which tests to see if Max can recognize his letters and the Ohio word test.
This tests to see if Max recognizes common site words. The running record is used
to find out Maxs reading accuracy while the writing analysis places Max in a
certain writing level based on the IPYW Narrative Writing Continuum.
Letter ID
Word Test
Running Record

% Accuracy
91% @ B Level
Level B & C

The Next Step The Try-Outs

I encouraged Max to
write about his interests
and relate the writing to

During readers workshop,

I encouraged Max to read
on his own as often as
*Show him that he can
read on his own.

I established a positive
environment with Max
and urged him to do
activities without the
help of myself or his

What I Found
Max willingly worked with me
during all of my try-outs. I
encouraged him at all times to take
charge of his own reading and work
in order for him to better
understand that he was able to do
these things on his own. He
improved greatly throughout the
semester and showed that he had
gained confidence right away. More
specifically, when I was working with
him during readers workshop I
asked Max why he thought he
could read a level D book when just
a short time before this he was
reading at a B level. He simply
looked at me and said, Because I
know that I know these words now. I
know the sounds each letter makes
and I have figured out ways to
make the right words when I read.
All of my try-outs were based
around encouragement and making
him aware that he can accomplish
these assignments on his own. In
writing, Max quickly understood
that books needed pictures and
words. He then started to add this
in his stories and showed improved
confidence in the sense that he
again knew he could do this on his
Letter ID
Word Test
Running Record

Good job Max! See

you can do this all by
yourself. Just know
that you can and
you will!

In the End

After working with Max throughout the

semester, I was able to show him that he
was capable of completing things by
himself. Max started to excel in the
classroom setting once he realized he
was able to do things just like his peers
and his final assessment scores are one
thing that shows it. Max took my
encouragement to a whole new level.
He started to raise his hand to answer
questions and always wanted to share
his reading to the class. Ultimately, Ive
learned that confidence plays a major
role in a students success in the
classroom and this something is I will
take with me throughout my
Score %
years in teaching. I hope to visit
next semester and see Max
continuing to take charge of his
80/83 96% @ C Level
newly gained confidence.
Level E

Stephanie Kaylor