I teach in an urban district in Connecticut. As of this coming 2018-19 school year, our school will become Title 1. This allows us to receive funding from the state in hopes to close the achievement gap between low-income and other students. A majority of the students in my classroom receive free/reduced school breakfast and lunch. My fourth-grade classroom is made up of many active and motivated learners from all backgrounds.
As an educator, I strive to create the most interactive, memorable and safe learning experience for students while driving learners to academic and social success.
I, myself, am a very hands-on learner who enjoys bright colors and visuals of all types. In my classroom, I create a learning environment that is inviting to all types of learners. I allow my students to choose their work area around the room in order to complete the task at hand. Students love this freedom and choice.
There is a serious misconception that fourth graders, or any older child for that matter do not appreciate picture books. So what's new this year to our classroom?! A PICTURE BOOK A DAY, that's what! A picture book a day is a challenge to share a picture book read aloud every day of the school year. I say “Challenge Accepted!” Everyday, the book will be displayed until all 180 days of school have been filled with picture books! This includes books that reinforce social skills, kindness, manners, friendship, character, success, uniqueness, and inspiration. They are books that are curriculum based with fractions, metaphors, weather and more. You name it, there's a picture book for it!
NO ONE at ANY age should be ashamed of reading a picture book!
The benefits of reading a book a day is endless. Here are some to name a few, they build community, develop empathy, expose students to diversity, usage of text evidence and support, provide texts to reference, enhance listening skill, and just downright fun! So much is expected of students today, they need the opportunity to relax, let their minds wander and enjoy someone reading to them.
I began reading picture books sporadically throughout last year with a closed mindset. I prepared myself for eye rolls and sighs. Much to my surprise, I received the complete opposite! By May, students were begging me to read more! I have to say, I've gotten pretty good at different voices; you'd be surprised what the reading spotlight will make you do!
These picture books have been carefully chosen from lists upon lists that trusted teachers have created. I plan to read a minimum of one picture book a day to my fourth graders, tracking each until we have made our goal of 180 picture books!
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