My first graders this year are kind, fun-loving, and SO smart! We are working hard to build a strong reading life as both emergent and developing readers. During independent, partner, and guided reading, we work hard to build stamina and strength in our "reading muscles" through practicing specific reading strategies in many genres. It's not uncommon to hear that complaining groan rise from their lips when reading time is over for the day. (Such a beautiful sound for a teacher.)
Like reading "body-builders," my students are dedicated to developing their reading muscles.
Many of my students have few opportunities to read outside of school, perhaps because books are scarce at home, or perhaps because it is not a guarantee that their parents are literate and able to read with them. Yet each student's family values literacy and finds ways to support their learning.
As a result, my students are bright, bilingual, hard working, and conscientious of others. They persevere in the face of momentary challenges as well as severe hardship, and they strive to uphold our community values. They set goals and make big steps towards achieving them all year long. I am in awe and inspired by them.
My last project brought more just-right books into the classroom for emergent readers, who are still in very early stages of reading. Now I am asking for more books for students who have already surpassed the emergent reading stages and are reading at grade level for first grade.
These books will be used during guided reading, when students meet with me for small-group instruction that is targeted to help them grow as readers based on what they as individual readers need to learn next.
Students will also be able to check out these books for independent reading for further practice.
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