My students need a variety of quality, leveled non-fiction books that are of a high interest.
My students rarely choose nonfiction for their reading. The Common Core, however, requires that students read nonfiction 50% of the time. By providing this collection of diverse, high interest non-fiction, my students will have the opportunity to fall in love with nonfiction.
My 27 students come from a city consistently ranked as one with one of the highest crime rates, highest child poverty rates and highest alcohol abuse rates in the nation.
Nonetheless, I expect excellence and push my students to rise above the difficulty of their lives to be their best, brightest selves. My school was designated, 7 years ago, as one of the lowest achieving in the state. Since that time, we have redesigned ourselves, and with help from the state, new administrators and extensive professional development, we've become one of the top performing schools in the state. In fact, the governor came to our school to award our progress, and we were named a "School of Distinction" by the United States Department of Education.
The books that I am requesting are titles that will engage the students. The topics are relevant to their lives and will motivate the students to develop skills for tackling nonfiction. This collection of books will allow the students to choose books that are on their exact reading level and that are of a high interest. The students will read their nonfiction books for at least 20 minutes every day and they will engage in regular, in-depth conferences with me. They will create projects about their books and share the books that they love with their classmates. The students will improve their discussion skills, their writing skills, and their knowledge about nonfiction while also learning about social justice, current events and other topics that they find relevant.
My students have no affection for nonfiction (unlike their teacher!) and this is largely due to a lack of engaging books that are relevant to their lives.
These books will bring excitement, issues of social justice, the stories of artists and poets, facts about animals and current events. Not only will the students learn about topics they care about but they will fall in love with the powerful and important genre of nonfiction and thus become lifelong learners.
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