Students in my classroom enjoy coming to school every day. They are helpful and accepting of each other's challenges. Some students have faced traumas that are hard to comprehend. These young children have seen so much violence and conflict in their lives. Many of these students live in apartments with multiple families. The sight of cockroaches is an everyday experience. For some families, there is a language barrier. Many of the parents have difficulty helping their children with homework because they cannot read or speak the language.
Even through this adversity, the students are resilient.
They come to school eager and ready to learn. School is a safe place to have fun and thrive. We have about 45% second language learners at our school. Most of the second language learners speak Spanish. Everyone receives free breakfast and lunch. These are healthy meals that they look forward to eating at school. It is amazing to see how appreciative these students are when receiving positive praise or recognition for hard work.
Reading is such an important foundational skill for students in first grade. This is the time to open a whole new world for students that allows them to explore topics and places that are fun and exciting. Seeing students engaged in books that spark their interests and imagination is so fulfilling. You can hear the excitement in their voices as they tell about new information they are learning.
Science is a topic students love to explore because it tells them real facts about things in the world.
Many times it leaves students wanting to know more about something or to even visit places that are featured in the nonfiction stories. Too often, students do not receive enough opportunities to read nonfiction texts in the classroom. In the primary grades, the focus tends to be more on the fictional stories that have a beginning, middle, and end. These books will give my students the opportunity to explore more of the nonfiction world of books.
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