What Is the Ruby Slippers Phenomenon?
It's that situation when key factors coincide and students learn much faster than we'd expected.
For example, I recently saw fantastic growth in writing in a young student. She always had the ability, but she needed:
• Expectations: those around her needed to believe that this was possible for her. And, she needed to believe in herself!
• Time: she had many many chances to engage in phonics activities and to write for real purposes in the course of six weeks
• Teaching: her teacher gave her informative feedback, helping her see when she was confused about how to blend sounds, etc.
• Technology: the teacher provided a simple Qwerty AlphaBoard, since the student was struggling to form letters.
VOILA - success! While it looked remarkable, she always had it the ability - she just needed the right supports . . . AND expectations!!