I am so unbelievably blessed with the group of third graders I get to work with this year. While they are all unique in their own way, they all come to school eager to learn and be the best they can be. From day one we have focused on having a growth mindset and never giving up.
We are a 100% free lunch elementary school in a high poverty, low income neighborhood.
Resources are limited, but as teachers we know how to be creative to give our students the education they deserve. We may not have everything, but together we have it all!
Informational text is becoming more and more the priority in reading programs and curriculum. While informational text is crucial for learning, I believe that a good balance of quality fiction should be more of a priority in our schools. Curriculum often has a segment of a novel, but not the whole thing. This leaves students wanting more!
In my class, I do one novel study each quarter.
We spend three weeks reading the book aloud, studying themes and other elements aligned to the common core standards. We culminate the end of the study with a movie, play, or themed celebration. I have seen my students’ love (or lack thereof) of reading grow in ways I never thought possible when we study these novels.
After asking several teacher and author friends for novel suggestions, there was one book that was raved about by all - The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. After reading reviews I immediately knew that I wanted to read and study this book with my class.
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