I have the privilege to work with small groups of first and second grade students every day. In a small group setting, students have many more opportunists to talk and listen, while developing their oral language skills. Many of the students with whom I see, have limited vocabulary.
My students are selected to receive extra literacy support because their literacy skills fall below grade level.
Every day I try to match great books with students so they can find pleasure and success as they emerge as readers.
Some of the children I work with have learning disabilities, some students are coming from homes where other languages are spoken (mostly Russian and Spanish speaking homes). These young ELLs (English language learners) benefit from being taught in a small quiet setting where they can feel safe to explore language and make mistakes.
Some of my students have come from homes where they have had limited exposure to books.
My students become very excited to find "just right books" (books that are at their reading level). And finding a book about a favorite topic is truly a thrill. I love to see their enthusiasm and curiosity.
With this project my at risk students will have a chance to be engaged in high interest literacy activities. Some of the key elements to improving students' literacy outcomes include- building phonemic awareness, exposure to print, home school connection, and vocabulary development. I hope to address all of these components in my project.
My project will include fun hands on phonemic awareness games and colorful fiction and non fiction books with a take home bag.
The books include a variety of interesting topics including sports and animals. The games will include sorting activities to practice sound symbol relationships and a rhyming game. Children will have a chance to select books with topics of personal interest. In addition, I will help students find books at their reading level. These books and activities will go home in a book bag. Once the child is at home, they will have books to read at their level, as well as, a book or an activity that the family can enjoy together. Reading and playing educational games will give opportunities for connection and vocabulary building. This experience will build a home school connection and promote the excitement of learning. The books and manipulative activities are selected carefully to be of high interest for first and second grade students.
These materials will help develop vocabulary and bring the opportunity to share the joy of books at home. This increased exposure to language in print will increase the confidence and improve outcomes for our most at risk students.
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