I teach a diverse group of active learners. Our school is high poverty and serves a rural population. Many of my students live on ranches and farms and spend 30+ minutes on the bus to and from school each day. Our school has a high percentage of free and reduced lunch prices. We are an inclusive school that provides services for a large number of students on IEPs for our district. Though my students vary in their backgrounds one characteristic they often share is their desire to move and be actively engaged in instruction.
Reading provides an opportunity for students to be transported into different realities and to experience new ideas.
My students are naturally social and active, but for many of them, reading is not something that feels comfortable. We spend a lot of time building stamina and the ability to sit and concentrate on one task for an extended period of time. By the end of the year, I am often impressed by the transformations that take place. As a community, we strive to reach our highest potential.
The picture books being asked for in this project will be used to read a "Book a Day". By reading a picture book each day of the school year it will show the students that books are important. Picture books are filled with wonderful ideas and wisdom for a reader of any age. Reading books like "After the Fall" by Dan Santat will help students deal with topics like anxiety and depression. Children need to understand that books can open up different worlds.
These picture books will not only build a love of reading in our classroom, but will also build our classroom community.
Having a strong classroom community is vital in the middle school classroom. Middle school is a time of great change, and if we can give students a solid foundation such as this they will thrive.
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