I teach 3rd-grade students at an inner-city school in Orlando, Florida. My classroom is very diverse in needs, languages, and backgrounds. A large percentage of my students are ELL (English Language Learners) with their native language being either Spanish or Haitian-Creole. My students are incredibly energetic who thrive on active learning and engaging texts.
As a new teacher, my classroom library is scarce.
My students need engaging books that they can check out from their classroom. I have a diverse group of learners. Not only do they speak various languages, but they are at different levels academically. I have some students who are brilliant in their language but struggle with English. I also have above level learners (reading at a 4th-grade level) and below level learners (reading at a K-1 grade level). Finding books to fit their needs is key.
Many of my students don't have the ability to access the public library due to living conditions as well as the availability of their parents. When the school library is closed (for multiple reasons) this really limits their access to literature.
While my students are incredibly talented, many of them are 1-2 grade levels below where they need to be. Instead of being able to read chapter books, they gravitate toward picture books. I want to remedy this by having an assortment of graphic novels and various levels of chapter books that will get my students on level and beyond. Having a diverse library within the classroom will allow my students to grow as independent readers.
If this project is funded, students will have books that allow them to take ownership of their reading and grow their literacy stamina.
A large problem at our school is comprehension and vocabulary. By creating a selection of books that students personally find intriguing, it is helping students develop a love for reading while closing their gaps in literacy. The best way to improve vocabulary is to read and the best way to grow a love for reading is to be captivated by a good book.
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