My students spend most of their day being told exactly what to do, how to think, and what to say. I teach students in my sophomore English class who normally do not score a passing grade on End of Course exams. Most of them are sophomores; many are repeaters in the grade. We as a school have many of these students. Most of them remember a time when they enjoyed reading for pleasure, but once they got to high school, they were forced to only read certain books. Many of them stopped reading altogether.
To me, reading is the key to reaching these kids. While we as educators continually complain that students will never make it in the "real world" unless they can sit silently through 90 minutes, take notes dutifully and read all of our assigned texts, we forget that in the "real world," people frequently have a choice about what they do. I started allowing my students to do silent sustained reading--something typically reserved for elementary school students--last year and have continued it through this year. My students are completely engaged in this activity. They love reading books with main characters who are like them. They make connections to their lives, and they recommend books to other people. This is success in an English classroom. After all, we want to create life long readers. It is still not enough. I want students to create blogs on their books. This is a format students are familiar with because they use blogs and social networking sites to keep up with friends. I want to see what happens when students are given class time to blog about books they choose, and other students are able to see their reflections and ideas on these books.
Getting books that are high interest for the students is difficult. I serve three classes of 25 students a piece. These books would be used for these 75 students to help spark their interest in reading. I feel that if I allow students to read books with characters they identify with and allow them to write about these books so that their peers see their opinions, they will feel that they are, in fact, readers and that reading is a worthwhile activity.
You will make it possible for my students to enjoy reading and feel that they themselves are readers. Reading impacts so much of student performance in public education, and the only sure fire way to improve reading comprehension is for students to read and write about books that matter to them.
|Like Sisters on the Homefront Rita Williams-Garcia • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|No Laughter Here Rita Williams-Garcia • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||1||$6.29|
|Life in Prison Stanley Tookie Williams, Chronicle Books, With Barbara Cottman Becnel • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|Eclipse Stephenie Meyer • Barnes and Noble||$13.99||1||$13.99|
|New Moon Stephenie Meyer • Barnes and Noble||$13.99||1||$13.99|
|Breaking Dawn Stephenie Meyer • Barnes and Noble||$16.09||1||$16.09|
|The Silver Kiss Annette Curtis Klause • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||1||$6.29|
|Heaven Angela Johnson, John Jude Palencar (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|Bird Angela Johnson • Barnes and Noble||$5.39||1||$5.39|
|Ironman Chris Crutcher • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||1||$7.19|
|Running Loose Chris Crutcher • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||1||$7.19|
|The Sledding Hill Chris Crutcher • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||1||$7.19|
|Chinese Handcuffs Chris Crutcher • Barnes and Noble||$7.19||1||$7.19|
|American Born Chinese Gene Luen Yang, Lark Pien (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$16.15||1||$16.15|
|Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #2) Jeff Kinney • Barnes and Noble||$10.36||1||$10.36|
|Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #1) Jeff Kinney • Barnes and Noble||$10.36||1||$10.36|
|Romeo and Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels) Matt Wiegle (Illustrator), William Shakespeare, Sparknotes Editors, Adapted by Matt Wiegle • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||1||$8.95|
|Lost and Found (Bluford High Series #1) Anne Schraff • Barnes and Noble||$3.59||1||$3.59|
|Summer of Secrets (Bluford High Series #10) Paul Langan • Barnes and Noble||$3.59||1||$3.59|
|Until We Meet Again (Bluford High Series #7) Ann Schraff, Anne E. Schraff • Barnes and Noble||$3.59||1||$3.59|
|Crushed Laura McNeal, Tom McNeal • Barnes and Noble||$14.35||1||$14.35|
|Fast Talk on a Slow Track Rita Williams-Garcia • Barnes and Noble||$6.29||1||$6.29|
|Macbeth (No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels) Adapted by Ken Hoshine, William Shakespeare, Ken Hoshine, Ken Hoshine (Illustrator) • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||1||$8.95|
|Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, Giovanni Rigano (Illustrator), Paolo Lamanna (Illustrator), Adapted by Andrew Donkin • Barnes and Noble||$8.99||1||$8.99|
|Redwall: The Graphic Novel Brian Jacques, Bret Blevins (Illustrator), Adapted by Stuart Moore • Barnes and Noble||$11.69||1||$11.69|
|Hamlet (No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels) Neil Babra (Illustrator), William Shakespeare, Sparknotes Editors, Adapted by Neil Babra • Barnes and Noble||$8.95||1||$8.95|
Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.View complete list Show less
This classroom project was brought to life by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and 4 other donors.