Our school is located in one of the most diverse zip codes in the country and my students come from many different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. My classroom is a place where students from diverse backgrounds are able to come together, build community and share their experiences. Our school focuses on building a community of learners and supporting children to develop socially and emotionally, as well as academically.
When asked what they are most excited for in the coming school year, most students said, "All your books!" My students are eager to have new and exciting books in their hands.
They need access to engaging and readable books. As they begin the new school year, however, few students will have read over the summer and many are not yet confident readers. They need high-interest and readable books to jump start their learning in 5th grade and make reading accessible.
The books in this project, such as Owl Diaries and the Eerie Elementary series, are incredibly engaging for older students because they're fun and readable, but they look different from the series they read in younger grades. Students who are not yet ready for 5th-grade books in the fall are often left reading books they see as "baby books." For most of those students, it's better to not read than to read a book that's seen as too easy. The most important thing, especially in the beginning of the school year, is for all of my students to feel successful and excited about reading.
In order for that to happen, my students need books that are accessible and engaging.
A classroom library needs to provide all students with access to the books they need to be successful. For my most vulnerable students, these books could mean the difference between starting 5th grade feeling successful and beginning the year convinced that reading isn't for them. Help all of my students access engaging, authentic reading!
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