My students need to read! Textbooks are dry, but novels are more compelling. The American Revolution is a lot less dry when you are getting the perspective of Paul Revere's horse or Ben Franklin's pet mouse!
McLuhan wrote, "Anyone who tries to make a distinction between education and entertainment doesn't know the first thing about either." In my school room, we have a rigorous, rambunctious, and at times, ransacked social studies classroom!
The school neighborhood has students of a wide variety of learning styles, cultural origins, and religions, but what they all share is zany, passionate teachers who tune into students.
Our students represent locales as far from our school as Uzbekistan, Ecuador, and China, to nearby Sheepshead Bay and Coney Island!
My school had a visit from the Chancellor of NYC schools last year and her comment on my and some of the other social studies classrooms was "Get these kids some books!" In the past few years technology has zipped in to the classrooms of NYC, but oftentimes it has taken the place of libraries. The Library of IS 228 became computerized mathematics classrooms, which has helped bridge the achievement gap for the mathematicians at IS 228, but sometimes computers are not enough.
Readers are leaders!
I recently changed from teaching world history to American History, so I want to bulk up my classroom library with some literature that tells American Tales! Katerina's Wish, Esperanza Rising and Bread and Roses, to give very different perspectives on the immigrant experience of 19th Century and 20th Century, of European and Mexican immigrants. The Birchbark House narrates the triple hardships of the midwestern expansion from the vantage of an Ojibwe teenage girl in the 1840s. Once on this Island demonstrates the effects of British occupation of American territory during the War of 1812. Ben and Me and Mr. Revere and I give a humorous, yet up close perspective of two key figures of the American Independence Movement.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mr. H. and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.
Browse bundles of books that prominently feature Black, Arab, Asian, Indigenous, Latinx, and Pacific Islander characters, and the LGBTQ+ community. With each ColorPop book bundle purchased, $5 is donated to our Book Donation Fund, which brings identity-affirming books directly into public school classrooms.