I teach at a school-wide Title I school. 100% of our children participate in the free breakfast and lunch program. Two years ago, my school was in its third year as a designated priority school, signifying that student achievement is in the bottom five percent in the state of Virginia. This required us to work with federal and state mandates and involved close monitoring by the state. With this priority status came a general low feeling and one of helplessness. While our state assessment scores were slightly below the benchmark in math, our reading scores fell significantly below expectations. Students communicated by their actions and words that they did not enjoy reading or see themselves as readers.
We are on our journey of helping kids see themselves as readers.
We just need more great literature!
Building a community through literature and dialogue is essential in our classrooms today. Wonder and Because of Winn-Dixie are two of the novels we are hoping to receive. All of the books have depth that will allow for great discussion and help students have empathy within their classroom, as well as the world around them.
These books will be used for literature circles.
Students will be reading independently, generating their own questions, and discussing the books among themselves. Through this process our students will develop a love of reading and appreciation for having a conversation around a great book.
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