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Ms. Smith’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Lakewood Elementary School
  • Huntsville, AL
  • More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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When my students walked in on the first day of school and saw my humongous classroom library (their words) they were at first frightened. Many of them had never enjoyed reading before and they were worried about having to read so many books. Now, they give me book requests everyday! The students read during stations, during Independent reading (30 min every single day) and whenever we have free time. I conference with every students, at least once a week, while they are reading. We talk about the books that they like and what other books we can find that will suit their needs and interests. My students need books that are culturally responsive. Books where they can see themselves as the main character. Rudine Sims Bishop, professor emerita of The Ohio State University, says, "Too often children of color and the poor have window books into a mostly white and middle- and-upper-class world. This is an injustice for two reasons." The first reason is proficient reading. They found that good readers make connections to themselves and their communities. When the students in the classroom cannot connect the book in the room, why would they read them? The second reason is identity development. Students must be able to read books where they can see the main character (or themselves) as artists, writers, political leaders, judges, mathematicians, astronauts, and scientists.

About my class

When my students walked in on the first day of school and saw my humongous classroom library (their words) they were at first frightened. Many of them had never enjoyed reading before and they were worried about having to read so many books. Now, they give me book requests everyday! The students read during stations, during Independent reading (30 min every single day) and whenever we have free time. I conference with every students, at least once a week, while they are reading. We talk about the books that they like and what other books we can find that will suit their needs and interests. My students need books that are culturally responsive. Books where they can see themselves as the main character. Rudine Sims Bishop, professor emerita of The Ohio State University, says, "Too often children of color and the poor have window books into a mostly white and middle- and-upper-class world. This is an injustice for two reasons." The first reason is proficient reading. They found that good readers make connections to themselves and their communities. When the students in the classroom cannot connect the book in the room, why would they read them? The second reason is identity development. Students must be able to read books where they can see the main character (or themselves) as artists, writers, political leaders, judges, mathematicians, astronauts, and scientists.

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