Unlike most girls her age, Mary does not like the colors pink and purple and movies or cartoons that have fairy characters. Instead, she likes chocolates, running on the grass and gymnastics. Her current interest is teaks with yo-yo.
Mean people, bullies, falling over, mushrooms, nuts and onions are among the things that Mary does not like. She does well in subjects like Science and Technology, Literacy and Creative and Practical Arts. However, Mathematics, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education are among her weaknesses.
Mary has been my neighbor for 9 months now. We talk about her progress in school about once a week. The reading activity took place in my house, where she had to come over on Thursday at 5:00 in the afternoon. Her father was not present during the activity so there was just the two of us. I had her seated behind a big dining table with the window on her left. To avoid distraction from the changes in the day light, I turned on the lights for her and sat beside her, on her right. To make her feel comfortable and more relaxed, I asked the child to pretend that I am a student and she is the teacher giving me a reading lesson. Mary loved the idea and was even enthusiastic about it. She asked me to sit on the carpet in front of her while she moved her chair in the middle of the dining room. Before moving on with the activity, I told her if it was Ok to record her reading since she is such a good reader. I then gave her two different books to read.
For stage 1 of the activity, I gave her the book "Alison's Dad is Lost" by an unknown author. Mary did not find any difficulty in reading and she did not commit any mistake. For the second stage, she read a traditional tale entitled "The Old Man's Mitten" by Yevonne Pollock, with illustrations by Trish Hill (Pollock, 1994). I gave the child 15 minutes in between the two reading sessions and another 10 minutes before proceeding with the interview.
One noticeable thing about Mary is that she always looks at the pictures on the cover of the book and then reads the title and the author's name. She opens the book and points her finger on some of the pictures. According to her, this helps her predict the storyline and motivate her to read the text.
She began her reading with confidence and at a good pace. However, she had the tendency to miss out some words and fail to notice the full stop marks at the end of the sentences. She never pointed at any word in the text.
If the child encounters an unfamiliar word, she would sound it out by dividing the word into syllables. She keeps the book at a right distance and angle from her eyes. She also keeps the right posture for the first 10 minutes and then starts moving all over the chair, crossing and lifting her legs. She seemed very excited through the first half of the book but completely lost interest in ending the last two pages.
The child thinks that "reading" is not just running through the words in a text but entails getting smarter. She believes that she is a good reader and in cases when she doesn't know a certain word, she would look at the pictures or sound it out. However, she thinks adults are better readers than children because when they were still young, they were taught how to read. She likes to read about