My students need 55 copies of the classic Ruth Krauss/Maurice Sendak book, "A Hole Is To Dig" for our Book Buddies Project. It is a wonderful first book of definitions!
If you ask the average first or second grader to define a word, they will most times parrot the word back in their definition, as in, "A hole is a hole.", or "A book is a book." This beautifully written book of first definitions will help my students comprehend what it means to define a word.
My students are resourceful and resilient.
Many of them live well below the poverty line. Some live in shelters. My students are urban and international. Our school is in an industrial side of town, in a city in CT that struggles to fund its school system. About half of my students speak another language at home although only about 20% qualify for ELL services. Our school is large and serves about 1000 students. We pride ourselves in our close knit community that often rallies to support each other during the tough times. Though our school community has faced all manner of hardship and more than our share of tragedy, our students are amazingly talented and upbeat. Our local community is united in their appreciation of, and affection for, our neighborhood school that is big in size, but retains the feeling of a close knit family.
These books will be used as resources for our cooperative First/Second Grade Best Book Buddies Club. This project will begin in September and end in June, with the club meeting twice a week to read and discuss and respond to the material. A Hole Is To Dig is a wonderful first book of definitions. The students will use the books to practice both their reading, and their speaking skills, and work with their partner to collaborate on a creative written response. The students in both classes will be given the book at the end of the lesson to keep and practice with at home. Other Maurice Sendak books will be used by both teachers during a whole group comparative extension activity. Both classes will use these books to do an author/illustrator study of the great, Maurice Sendak. In addition to strengthening their literacy skills, my students, and the students of my cooperating teacher will improve their cooperative and communication skills
The enjoyment of classic children's literature is crucial to a child's early classroom experience.
Cooperative skills are crucial to success in life. Our hope for Best Book Buddies, is to create partnerships in learning, and establish a lifelong appreciation of reading. Learning to read can be a daunting enterprise for students who are economically disadvantaged. Providing them with a good book and a good friend to help could go a very long way toward closing the literacy gap.
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