My students are members of a fully inclusive community. What this means is that at my school we believe that all students benefit from spending their whole day in a general education classroom. We believe that all students are best served in a community where they can learn to work together.
At HT Elementary School meeting the needs of all students is our ultimate goal.
In my classroom, students work together to help each other read if one student is not yet able to access the text. Every student in my classroom has a job that they complete each day. We are a community of learners, working together and committed to the goal of every student learning and growing as much as is possible in one year. We know that having all students in the classroom is the best way to meet that goal because, as one of my students said during a read aloud this year, "Being different isn't bad; it's what makes us special."
As we close out the year, we would like to spend the last six weeks of school focussing on one rigorous, engaging novel. We have read many short stories, and informational texts this year, but we know that that there is something magical that happens when you deeply read and study a novel. As our students prepare for the fourth grade, we would like to give them an opportunity to use all the reading comprehension skills they have gained this year, and apply them to a true novel.
Books reflect the world around us.
Because of this we intentionally chose a book that is not only award-winning (This book has won the Coretta Scott King Award, the 2011 Newbery Honor Award, and the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction) but is truly diverse. This book will help our students understand cultures that are different from their own, and will allow them to learn more about a topic they have expressed great interest in: the Civil Rights Movement. This rich, rigorous, diverse text will also allow them the opportunity to really grapple with complex literature, increasing their reading comprehension skills as well.
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