My students need their own class novel, Esperanza Rising, so they may take ownership of their learning, be responsible for their nightly reading, and practice making their own annotations directly in the book.
I am in my 6th year of teaching this coming fall as the lead 6th grade teacher. We began year one of our turnaround initiative last year. Our students and families in this Southwest Denver community have been underserved for more than 20 years as my school has been ranked in the bottom 1% of middle schools in Colorado for over two decades.
Only 9 percent of my incoming 6th graders were proficient or advanced based on CMAS/PARCC.
I am a teacher who entered my sixth grade English Language Arts classroom every morning knowing that many of my students were reading well below grade level. Of the 27 students in my first period ELA class, 19 of these scholars were reading at or below a third grade level. Five of my sixth grade students could not read.
I am fully committed to these kiddos, their families and this community and we will successfully turn this school around to honor each scholar's true potential and dreams.
Allowing for each student to own a personal copy of our class novel will allow students to take true ownership of their learning in English Language Arts class because they make their own annotations in their class novel. It is also the student's responsibility to read a chapter for our lesson the following day at home each night. Because this book is initially set in Mexico, the home country of many of my students, families will be encouraged to read this book aloud together at home. Each chapter has a Spanish title and dialogue throughout the book exists in Spanish as well. We read a novel each quarter of the school year as a class, however, this particular novel is quite culturally relevant for our families and communities to have at home as it is an immigration story about perseverance, love, and compassion.
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