Help me give my students real books to support their science instruction during the school closure. Young students cannot concentrate on screens for multiple hours in a day. They need hands-on experience to support their learning.
We are an inner-city school in one of the most expensive cities in the country. Over 80% of our families qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, and over 75% of our families are Spanish-speaking. Housing costs are outrageous and many of our families are living in substandard conditions. The apartments or studios are small, offering very little room for children to play or a quiet place for reading, art, or homework. For these reasons, we became a community school to provide opportunities for our students to participate in academic enrichment, arts, sports, and outdoor activities before and after school. Many of our students spend up to 10 hours a day at school.
Our students' parents often work two or more jobs, meaning that many students don't get the help they need with homework and have limited family time.
Teachers work together to develop new programs and strategies, and we write grants to support our students' needs. We strive to create the richest, most motivating environment where each student can experience success.
During the school closure, our youngest students are spending all their time at home without many resources to continue their learning. Many have just a few toys to support their need for creative and stimulating play. As I have observed in my classroom, the magnetic blocks are a favorite toy that supports students' curiosity as well as their spacial knowledge, geometry, and physics. Most of my students have little to no books at home. While some students have access to online learning, endless hours of screens are not supportive of five and six-year-olds' needs for hands-on experiences. There is a big difference between the experience of reading and online text and having access to an actual book that they can touch, manipulate, and pick up at any time. Also, books lend themselves to the lap read which is such an important part of early childhood. The books I have selected will support the last two science units of the school year. This way I can plan lessons that teach how readers do research in non-fiction texts.
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