Anxiety and Learning
Anxiety and Learning
- March 4, 2020
- Posted by: Caitlin McCallum
- Category: Wow Story
Student anxiety is something that we are seeing more of in children, and that anxiety can impact and even impede their learning. Here’s a story of how we helped one girl overcome her anxiety, and how that has improved her learning.
We had a student who is new to our LSEM program and began coming down to the resource room around the beginning of second quarter. This sweet girl struggles with a lot of anxiety at her young age, and the transition from spending her full days in the general education classroom to now splitting her day between that classroom and our resource room with LSEM teachers was quite a challenge for her.
For some time, she was unable to walk back and forth between the classrooms on her own. We would get her from her class, walk with her to the LSEM room, and then walk her back to her classroom when our lessons were finished. Over the course of a couple months, we gradually released control and started giving her small goals to make it through part of the process of coming down to our classroom on her own. Now she comes down independently, three different times each day, and she feels confident in doing so.
Taking the time to help her work through that transition was so worth it! She is now working on leaving the LSEM room to be able to use the bathroom or get a drink of water on her own. The reduction in her anxiety with these transitions has increased her comfort level and allowed her mind to be open for learning.
This same young girl started reading with low skills. She knew less than 50% of the letter names, and only knew about 5 letter sounds. Knowing that she needed significant intervention, we spent the first two quarters using guided reading model for pre-readers, along with a phonics intervention program, and we have been working daily on increasing her letter knowledge and building her sign word vocabulary. She has made slow but steady progress over the 4 months, and we’ve had many days where she would feel frustrated at the repetition of skills we were working on and disappointment in her inability to read a “real book” as she would call it.
We have celebrated her small successes, and then she finally read her first phonics reader storybook independently! When she finished the book, she jumped straight up out of her chair and exclaimed “I did it! I am reading now, just like a big kid!” She was so proud! Our teacher had never felt such joy coming from her.