My students are amazing; my students are silly; my students are smart; and my students want to learn more! My students are all special education students with a variety of learning, behavioral, and emotional disabilities who attend a school in a high-need community on the south side of Chicago.
Despite the challenges they face both inside and outside the classroom, my students all want to learn and work hard every single day.
However, my students often do not have the resources they need to be the most successful. These students already have so many factors working against them; lack of resources should not be one of them. Being in the special education classroom for part of the day actually means they have fewer resources that their typically developing peers have, as resources often go to the general education classrooms first. Therefore, students with the highest needs often have the fewest resources, especially materials that are at their level and accessible to them. My students are amazing and have made great strides despite this lack of resources, but I can only imagine the successful young men and women they will become with the resources necessary to help them achieve.
It is nearly impossible to survive in today's world without adequate reading and writing skills. However, for many students with learning disabilities, it is these subjects that are most difficult and cause the most frustration. As a result, those who work with this population of students must find fun ways to incorporate repeated practice of these skills into daily instruction.
As a teacher, especially as a special education teacher, I believe it is my job not only to increase my students' reading and writing abilities, but also to foster a love for these subjects in my students.
Through intensive phonics, fluency, and writing instruction paired with fun read-alouds and creative writing opportunities, even my most struggling, resistant readers and writers are beginning to discover the other worlds that language can open. However, in order to continue to foster their love of reading and writing, which will lead to additional practice and future success in a world where reading and writing are necessary, I need the necessary materials. This project requests timers so that students can work independently or with a partner to track their reading fluency progress. The project also requests pencils, dry erase markers, erasers, and dry erase pockets so that students can practice handwriting, spelling, and grammar in a fun and engaging way. With these additional tools, I can make sure my students get the practice they need to improve their reading and writing foundational skills, which will allow them to make faster growth in all areas of English Language Arts.
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