Our school is small (one class per grade level) and students are mostly able to stay together in the same class from kindergarten on. This creates a sense of community and camraderie among the students that permeates the culture of the classroom. Students with diverse backgrounds and abilities learn to care for each other like family.
Fourth grade is a time when students start to notice more about the world around them and begin to believe in their own power and abilities.
Each year I feel honored to lead another group through a journey of learning and self-discovery. My students each have their own strengths, struggles, and goals for growth, and I strive to help them work together to honor, respect and support each other.
In my class there are students from both poverty and economic privilege, many family cultures and structures and a range of academic histories. Their stories and challenges are honored as a part of their unique contribution to our class and to the world.
The text sets of new books will help us form engaging book clubs. The series books will help struggling readers stay in books that are just right for them even in between book clubs. Students will meet with a group and a teacher every two weeks and read and discuss a book together, enjoying the story while also deepening their ability to follow plot, characters, theme and setting through an entire text.
The books have been chosen specifically to meet the needs of diverse reading levels of fourth graders while also giving them the opportunity to read about characters that reflect the diversity of our world.
I want my students to fall in love with the books they read and be able to read deeply enough to do so. These books are meant to help both reluctant and avid readers find joy and growth in books.
My current classroom library has many worn and outdated books that don't appeal to students. Most of my series books feature only white, middle-class characters. I need these books to help my students grow as readers and see the power that great books can have. I want the books in my library to serve as both windows to other places and identities as well as mirrors for students to see people like them. After reading Understanding Texts and Readers by Jennifer Serravallo, it became even more clear to me that I needed to give my students high interest books that were complex enough to help them meet grade level comprehension standards and help to guide them to independence with increasingly complex texts. I feel certain these books will transform reading time in my classroom and the lives of my students.
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