First and foremost, my students are inspirational. Their sheer grit and determination are two reasons why I love my job as a special education teacher. More than anything, they need a champion and cheerleader, and I make that my personal mission. They are optimistic and hopeful and these traits are contagious. They make me optimistic and hopeful on a daily basis; no two days are alike in the SPED world, and this optimism and hope are beacons on otherwise dark days.
We are a Title I middle school and 100% of my students receive a free breakfast and lunch.
In my county, 43% of students live below the poverty level, and sometimes it's a struggle for their families to provide even the most basic of school supplies.
Just as their backgrounds differ, so do their exceptionalities. No two students are alike, and their needs within the resource room also differ. Most of my students are currently reading on a second-grade level or below and struggle to perform even the most basic of math computations. We're focusing our energy on attacking literacy on three fronts: reading, technology, and math.
My 7th and 8th grade students with disabilities are all reading on varied reading grade levels, with some beginning their literacy journey and reading picture books on a Kindergarten level to others reading closer to their actual grade level. In my special education classroom, reading grade level doesn't matter - I want to make sure that I have a variety of quality children's literature books that will allow them students to escape and experience adventures, fall in love with characters, and discover their own literary heroes the same way I did during school. Unfortunately, our school library doesn't offer these same experiences. Most of their books are aimed at middle schoolers and therefore, these books are often above the interest level and reading level of my students.
Every child should have access to quality children's literature, regardless of whether or not their reading level and grade level align.
This project is intended to help students with disabilities book it towards a brighter future through access to multi-leveled (by reading level) quality children's literature and multi-leveled (by grade) activities workbooks to strengthen literacy and math skills. Children can access these activities and work through them in small groups and one-on-one instruction inside the special education resource room.
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