As a teacher in a low-income, academically and culturally diverse school district, my students are facing multiple challenges in and out of the classroom. Despite these challenges, I want to offer my students an inviting classroom environment where they can thrive.
I often hear from my students that "they hate reading" or "do we have to read today".
I find that many of my most reluctant readers have never had the ability to access books that they might be interested in.
For many of my students, the only books that they have ever read are ones that have been required by school. They cannot fathom the idea of reading for pleasure. In order to combat the idea that books are strictly to be read to complete assignments, I have instituted "First Chapter Friday". On "First Chapter Fridays", I read the first chapter of a "new" book that has an especially climactic first chapter. So far this has been a wildly popular part of our week.
Since the creation of "First Chapter Fridays", I have students actively waiting to see what book I have chosen to read for that week.
Students have taken to creating sign-out sheets to be the next person to read the book that I have just previewed.
In order for "First Chapter Fridays" to be successful, I need access to a variety of books that will guarantee that each student will find something that they enjoy reading. I want my students to be able to experience a variety of genres, characters, struggles, concepts and interests. I feel that our classroom library needs to reflect the diversity of the students that sit in our classroom.
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