My students need a leveled classroom library to help them meet their literacy goals. Students will use these books daily during independent reading time so that they can practice the skills taught during whole group.
My school is a Title 1 school where 100% of the students receive free breakfast and lunch. Many of my students enter kindergarten without any previous schooling.
My students show grit every day when they walk through the doors.
Many of them begin the school year without knowing all of their letters, but through hard work they learn to meet my high expectations and become readers. The smiles that I see on their faces when they remember sight words or recognize a new letter is an irreplaceable part of my job.
People always say that they could never be a Kindergarten teacher, because it would be too exhausting. Seeing my kids' joy for learning, and genuine innocence makes the exhaustion that I feel at the end of the day worth it.
On the first day of Kindergarten, many of my students share that they are so excited to learn how to read. They start the year with little knowledge of letters and sounds, and end the year reading complex texts that require decoding skills, comprehension strategies, and fluent reading. The excitement on my students' faces when I introduce new literacy concepts are that of wonder and excitement. They know that with each lesson they are becoming stronger readers, and that they will one day be able to read and understand every book they come across.
Our classroom leveled library is an irreplaceable part of our reading curriculum.
Students pick books on their reading level that interest them each week, and place them in their "book buddy". During independent reading, my students are eager to cuddle up around the classroom with the books they have chosen. They share their books with their reading partners, they read to stuffed animals, and they read to me. This year, my students were given goal sheets during guided reading that they kept in their book buddy. The goal sheets listed what they were working on as a reader. Each time I sat down with a child, they would tell me their goal, and we would use our leveled library books to practice that skill until they could do it without my help. When a student mastered a skill, their face would be gleaming with pride. After receiving a new goal, they could not wait to share what they were working on with their friends.
When my students are reading books that are on their level, they need very little motivation to stay on task. The intrinsic reinforcement lies in knowing that they CAN read, and they are getting better at it every day.
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