My students are the future - for their families, for our communities, and for the world. They need to be loved, challenged and inspired. They need environments full of print - print that appeals to their curiosities and interests and print at multiple different reading levels that cultivates a love for independent reading.
I teach in a Title One school in Waterloo, Iowa in which 95% of our families qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Most of the students in our school come from low-income families and don’t have access to quality print materials outside of school. My students are bright, respectful, caring and funny! They love to read and listen to music. Their families are supportive and care deeply about their children's education. As their teacher and, in some cases, the most consistent person in their lives, it is my job to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment with books that allow students to travel to places they have never seen, learn about things they can only dream about and that instill in them a love for literacy. We are always trying to stretch our funding as far as possible, but often times find ourselves coming up short.
These phonics based, high interest, low readability books will give my growing readers access to text that is exciting and relevant. There are students in my classroom who are struggling or beginning readers and find it difficult to stay engaged with books at their independent reading level. They tell me the books at the lower reading levels are boring or that they are sick of reading about the same characters.
These new texts contain subjects that are appropriate for their interest level and emphasize the most common words in English (sight words).
By increasing exposure to these words, students increase their chances of learning them, and also their ability to read and comprehend more complex sentences. These books will also benefit our ELL students who are learning to be proficient readers.
It's so very important to keep my students motivated to read so that they get in quality independent reading time each day!
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