My 24 students are a wonderful, eclectic mix of compassionate children. They come from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. I have many English Language Learners, students who live in poverty, students in foster care and students with disabilities, both academic and behavioral and students who represent many countries.
My students come with many cultural differences and also with challenges brought on by trauma, but together we have become a cohesive, caring community.
We operate like a family, supporting each other through difficult times. My students have many obstacles and can be challenging, but everyday we embrace a new start. They have grown so much and I am very proud of them.
My students and my school community are a wonderfully diverse group. I currently do not have books that represent all their wonderful differences. The books I have chosen represent characters and themes including the following: Hispanic culture, Black culture, Chinese culture, immigrants, deportation, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health issues, the Jewish religion, the Muslim religion, different types of families, gender identification, poverty, homelessness, foster care and parents in prison.
Having books that do this will help my students see themselves and develop empathy for others.
I plan to use these books throughout my literacy block, as read aloud books and as independent reading choices. I am extending my independent reading time to make sure students have substantial time each day to choose books, read them, write about them and discuss them. I will do book talks to introduce the books that we receive.
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