My students are wonderful. They are polite, respectful energy is contagious and heart-warming. They live in a small, rural town and have been raised to respect people, give their best effort, and take pride in their blue-collar community. The students and their parents are dedicated to their education.
My students give me great hope for the future.
In an age of increasing cynicism, my students still have incredible school spirit and great concern for people. The students run several fund-raisers each year to help get clean water to people around the world with none or to help needy families in the area. They enthusiastically wear school colors and decorate for homecoming week. Their big hearts lead them to be active in many activities. Many of them work on farms, work other jobs, and help care for their siblings. They also work hard in community service and on the athletic teams and competitive clubs like Skills USA and DECA. With these groups, my students earn state honors and travel to the national competitions regularly.
By participating in the Battle of the Books last year, my students have started to regain the habit of reading they had lost over the years. This loss of reading results in low ACT and pre-ACT test scores. I have also heard from graduates that they are having trouble succeeding in college because they don't have the reading stamina or ability to accomplish the reading expected of them at that level. Research by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittles shows that the best way to increase students' reading stamina and reading level is to get them to read more, starting with books of their choice at an entertaining level, while teachers conference with them about the books they are reading. This really did work last year.
Help sustain the momentum and assist my still struggling students to increase their reading ability!
My students have a terrific competitive spirit; presenting these books from the Wisconsin, 2019, Battle of the Books List as a challenge, and the state Battle of the Books as a competition they could potentially win, will appeal to them enough to get them reading! The requested books, such as "The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives" by Dashka Slater and "Children of Blood and Bone" by Tomi Adeyemi are high interest and at an approachable level so that the students have a great chance of completing them. I am excited to conference with them throughout the semester using the research-proven, effective conferencing questions. If the students read these books during the first semester, which they will have to do if they want to join in the competition in February, 2019, they should greatly increase their reading levels and have greater success throughout high school and college.
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