Our school is a large community school where all of the students live within a few miles of the school. We have a diverse population of students - my school serves over 50% minorities and 32% economically disadvantaged. We also have a large military population (25%), students who speak other languages, and students diagnosed with ASD and other learning challenges. I have two classes each day to whom I teach reading, language arts, writing, and social studies. My classes include a very broad range of skill levels with some students reading above grade level and other students reading on or below grade level.
The Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) Program is a statewide reading motivational program for students in grades 3 through 8, that encourages students to read independently for pleasure and to improve their reading fluency. Sunshine State books are selected for their wide appeal, literary value, varied genres, curriculum connections, and/or multicultural representation. Our school will be using the SSYRA books with students in grades 3-5 to compete in Battle of the Books (BOB), where students read the books and come together in groups to demonstrate their abilities and to test their knowledge of the books they have read.
In addition to using these titles for the BOB competition, several of the books have sequels, which will help many students know exactly what to read next.
As we continue our quest to fill our classroom library shelves and have books EVERYWHERE, we are also in need of a Benjamin Franklin library chair. Franklin was well known for inventing and adapting things to meet unmet needs. He altered the design of a conventional open armchair by fitting it with a set of short steps and using it as a library ladder. Not only will this piece of furniture help the kids reach the books on the shelves, but it will also be a place to sit while they investigate a title. Hopefully, it will also serve as inspiration for any young inventors in the class.
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