Help me give my students high quality books, filled with rich vocabulary, diverse experiences and characters, and plenty of opportunities for mastering 1st grade reading skills in a meaningful and enjoyable way.
I teach 18 diverse first graders at a Title 1 School, with an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics). My students face many challenges outside of school: poverty, homelessness, family changes. It's a pleasure and a challenge to provide them with a safe haven.
My students are future leaders, scholars, and world-changers.
They have dreams of being police officers, teachers, doctors, superheroes, and cowboys! With a solid education - starting with developing literacy and critical thinking skills in 1st grade - my students will grow up to have choices about their futures.
My students come to me with varied reading levels, from non-readers to advanced readers. Due to our demographic, most of our students have limited experiences and exposure as compared to children from more affluent families. In addition, many of my students come from families with limited English.
By using specially selected, high quality literature, I can close these gaps - giving my students access to experiences, vocabulary, and opportunities for critical thinking regardless of language, economics, or even reading skills.
Low reading level books (aka "early readers") are fantastic and certainly have a place in a small group setting, to develop reading skills and fluency. But, in the meantime, it is imperative that my students learn to love literature and all that it can do for them. By supplying my class with these high qualities book, I can continue to expose my students to rich read-alouds that will stretch their horizons as they work towards becoming independent readers. These books were selected because they each can be used to teach our state's standards in a meaningful and accessible way. In addition, approximately half of these books are chosen because they can be used as a lead-in for STEM projects.
With these books, readers of all levels can and will grow in their creative thinking, critical thinking, vocabulary, and use of important reading strategies.
Please also notice that the themes of many of these books involve problem solving, perseverance, kindness, integrity, and individuality.
Thank you for helping me foster a love of learning and literacy in my students!
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