This year, I have a wide variety of students. Some may come from stable households, while others are considered transient or even homeless. The school I teach at has 70%-80% of kids receiving free or reduced lunch and there is almost a 50/50 split of white and Hispanic students. While the culture of learning is high at my school, students come to us with all kinds of needs beyond academic.
While many of them may struggle, I want to provide them the tools and materials needed to be successful in a time where they are faced with uncertain situations on a daily basis.
Not being able to be at school with them is challenging since many students don't have internet access or devices to use at home. I'm looking forward to see their smiling faces again next year and trying to plan for the beginning of a fresh school year.
While this pandemic is keeping students away from school for this year, I'm trying to plan for a strong start for next school year. These materials can be used for distance learning if needed, but also utilized in the classroom. Dual purpose materials like these are important to have during this time of uncertainty of next steps.
I want to give my students opportunities with resources that are either unaffordable or not accessible to all of them.
While a binder may seem insignificant to see on a school supply list to some, 75% of my students will have trouble purchasing this with all the other supplies on their list. Binders can be used in class, but can be used in distance learning situations to deliver work to students who don't have internet and need paper copies. Right now, student work is being placed in manilla folders and binders would be more durable and easily cleaned.
These books are part of the Charlie May Simon award book challenge. Charlie May Simon book winners are selected by 4th-6th grade students in Arkansas who read three or more of the selected books. I always like to make sure I have a set of these books available for students to promote the importance of this challenge. There are books that many students may never pick up, but because they made the "Charlie May Simon list", they will read cover to cover. I want to have enough copies for students to read if we are at school, but I'd still like students to be able to participate in this challenge at home. I can do read-alouds during Zoom meetings and we can have class discussions about the texts. It's always nice to get them early so I can read them to spark individual student interest!
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