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Ms. Fallone’s Classroom Edit display name

  • East High School
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Nearly all students from low‑income households

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In my 9th grade English classroom, many of my students are struggling to read at the level required for long-term academic success. Rather than drilling students on short passages and multiple choice reading comprehension quizzes, I believe strongly that independent reading is the best tool for improving literacy and increasing engagement. Kids from low-income and marginalized backgrounds have so many choices taken away from them - allowing students to choose books from a library filled with graphic novels, special interest books, and Spanish novels puts the choice of which literacy tool they want to engage with back in their hands. When students browse sites like Netflix and Youtube, they are able to easily select content where their interests, ethnicity, race, age group, and home languages are represented. This rarely transfers into searching through the books in the back of an English teacher's classroom. I have seen the instant excitement when I show kids the few books in my small, second-year teacher library in which the characters or authors feel familiar. Books like The Hate U Give and Pet lead to huge smiles and jealous peers. With support for this project, all of my students could experience that same curiosity, excitement, and satisfaction right in our classroom.

About my class

In my 9th grade English classroom, many of my students are struggling to read at the level required for long-term academic success. Rather than drilling students on short passages and multiple choice reading comprehension quizzes, I believe strongly that independent reading is the best tool for improving literacy and increasing engagement. Kids from low-income and marginalized backgrounds have so many choices taken away from them - allowing students to choose books from a library filled with graphic novels, special interest books, and Spanish novels puts the choice of which literacy tool they want to engage with back in their hands. When students browse sites like Netflix and Youtube, they are able to easily select content where their interests, ethnicity, race, age group, and home languages are represented. This rarely transfers into searching through the books in the back of an English teacher's classroom. I have seen the instant excitement when I show kids the few books in my small, second-year teacher library in which the characters or authors feel familiar. Books like The Hate U Give and Pet lead to huge smiles and jealous peers. With support for this project, all of my students could experience that same curiosity, excitement, and satisfaction right in our classroom.

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