My students are creative and analytical; they are problem seekers and problem solvers; they are leaders, but also collaborators. My students have a wide range of strengths and weaknesses and they use one another's strengths to build upon areas they need to improve upon.
My students above everything are eager and willing to improve upon literacy, but need the tools available to them at school and at home to make this possible.
They are interested in the world, but have little access to it outside the classroom. They need rich materials to afford them the opportunity to grow as learners and global citizens.
We travel through books when our pockets can't afford the real thing. Through our studies we get a chance to see and explore the world in ways my students probably never will. We travel to Africa and learn about Safari animals, we move to Ireland and study classic Folk Tales, our adventures take us to Alaska to learn about Hanukkah and Mexico to learn about Christmas, and we find ourselves mapping the journey of Lois and Clark on their expedition through early America.
My students come from families where reading is often a struggle through the generations.
They may have a mother who can't read, or a grandmother who only speaks Spanish, so reading for many of my students is desired but difficult. Books are not easily, if at all accessible. I have found that text books often don't capture their attention and drive their desires to learn to read. But these books do. These books give students both a visual story told through the beautiful illustrations, but a story with deep meaning and chances to practice understanding vital reading comprehension skills.
I used books I could find in the library that matched our learning objectives. I couldn't keep the books I chose out of the students' hands. They fought over who got to read them during independent reading time. It was a great success, but unfortunately our library just doesn't have enough or all the books I need. Please help us build an instructional reading library. Help my students explore the world they will probably never see. Help them desire reading and learn to read when maybe their parents never did. Help us on our adventure!
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