I have the pleasure of working in a country school on an Indian reservation in beautiful South Dakota. I work with socially/emotionally challenged children due to circumstances they face in their family situations both personally and culturally. Although they come from some poor situations they travel by bus and hour each way daily to attend school. This is my first year working in a multi-grade classroom and I believe I have learned as much as my students have and we are only halfway through the third quarter of school. I thought I was coming to Lakeview to save the world and the funny thing is....these beautiful souls have changed MY world.
The most important thing I provide in my classroom is a SAFE place where these children can come to learn and feel free to be themselves no matter where they are academically.
I have visited several classrooms in my district and noticed that many classrooms have specified reading areas where students WANT to go and read. My students are beginning kindergarten readers and struggling first and second grade readers who come from homes where relatives don't read to them regularly.
The majority of reading exposure is in my classroom and every minute counts in our busy day.
I would like bean bag chairs and floor seating available to students to use during their read to self, independent reading and reading with a partner times, as I am trying to establish an area that invites and inspires them to choose to come to so they can build skills and stamina with their reading.
It is important for students to have choices concerning their learning and I feel a comfy area would pique their interest regarding their independent reading time. I am teaching them to take care of our classroom and materials which they are learning and are quite successful with so far. They love the library and take great care in selecting books for their bins and then returning the books to the correct bin or shelf. I am striving to provide my students rich and meaningful reading opportunities that will hopefully make them life long readers!
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