My students need autonomy to meet their specific needs. With benches and lights to read, easily accessible storage, and interactive word play tools, they can.
When I tell my students we get to do Daily 5 and enjoy our books, they shout with excitement. It is my dream that the classroom be conducive to this passion. Right now they sit on the floor and shuffle through paper bins. It's hard for me to have the right tools at their finger tips.
Many of the students in my class are English Language Learners who passionately work to improve their reading and writing skills.
During writer's workshop they write feverishly, and when reading they practice recommended strategies. However, their spelling has errors you'd expect when learning a new language and it's tough to address word knowledge without a familiar and common routine.
These kids are embracing the maturity and responsibility of fourth grade with pride. I would like to give to them a fraction of what they deserve in return.
Imagine being able to settle into a well lit corner on a cozy padded bench to enjoy a story and practice reading strategies. Being able to fall into the world of your book is made possible by the chance to spread out, away from friends, and get comfortable. If students aren't reading, they're choosing a quiet activity they've learned from one of the drawers. Maybe they're playing with roots, prefixes, and suffixes to expand their vocabulary. Maybe, they're using magnets to work on spelling skills. Either way, the time is purposeful, directly addressing the individuals needs, motivating, and creating a love of learning.
Students have such specific needs but all students will benefit from uninterrupted reading time.
Within this structure students get to read daily helping their ability grow. There's also space to engage with vocabulary, writing, and word work so I can meet the many individuals' needs, leaving no skills out.
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