My school is predominately African American and Hispanic, Title I School in South Carolina. A large part of our reading initiative includes Accelerated Reader Program. The initiative requires students read books, take a comprehension quiz to earn points for prizes. Because we have few Bilingual or Spanish books, our Spanish speaking students have difficulty earning AR points.
My students are different shades of color and size, each coming to school with their own set of circumstances that only poverty can provide.
Their families and home life run the gamut. Some are comprised of single parent household, others may live with extended family or friends. Many of our student’s families have made extreme sacrifices to relocate to The United States. Others are locals whose families have been in South Carolina for several generations. We have grandparents, foster parents, and guardians as caregivers. As well as homeless and transient families looking for work and safe place for their children to live.
At home, and in the community, my students are faced with social, emotional, and economic circumstances beyond their control. Yet they are orators, writers, artists, scientists, musicians, eager to learn, and help each other. My students are HOPE.
We are an elementary school, CD-3rd grade, with a ratio of 1 to 1 electronic devices, iPads or Chromebooks, for each student in grades K5 -3rd. It important for students to unplug and use their cognitive abilities to problem solve while using their fine and gross motor skills for dexterity. Last year, I ordered flexible seating and created inviting reading areas. This year, I'd like to create flex spaces for manipulative activities and games to encourage non-electronic, hands on, problem solving strategies that utilize both logic and reasoning. The library serves a hub knowledge and learning. Flex spaces will enhance this mission.
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