I teach a class of gifted 4th graders who come from the largest district in Ohio. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and personal experiences, as well as interests and strengths. They do share in common, though, a curiosity about life, a desire to make a difference, and most often, a love for reading.
My students love to discuss what they are reading- new perspectives, related experiences to their own lives, and their discoveries about life.
We share a variety of reading experiences both in and outside of the classroom including whole class studies, literature circles, independent studies, and shared reading times. You'll often find students with a pile of books 4-5 high next to their caddy on their table. They enjoy learning how the world works and how they can make this world a better place for themselves, their families, and their community.
At the beginning of the school year, I provide my students with a collection of newly released novels. Their challenge is to read several novels and then select the novels they feel will win one of the ALSC awards, including the Newbery.
My students use the Newbery criteria to examine and analyze the novels they are reading.
They love to have spirited conversations about complex characters, plot development, and various themes. Because of this sharing, even my reluctant readers can't help but get excited about reading the novels recommended to them by their peers. The project culminates in January when the students watch the ALSC awards in class.
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