My students are an incredibly diverse, driven bunch of 11 and 12 year olds who love to learn and are voracious for new knowledge. Many of my students are the sons and daughters of immigrants - the American Dream is still very much alive in Queens. Their parents came to America hoping to give their children the education they couldn't achieve in their own home countries. With our incredibly supportive staff and family community, these students truly are receiving a first class education to help them be successful.
When my students are interested and engaged, nothing can stop them.
Whether is tackling exponents in math, or learning about the Earth's crust in science, the work they put out is phenomenal. However, as many of them speak English as their second language, reading has continued to be a struggle. Part of the struggle as they reach adolescence, has been a lack of books they actually want to read. This project is designed to begin to build my classroom's first passion library. I know just having access to interesting, meaningful books on their reading level will increase students reading output and abilities.
When I surveyed my kids, they said they LOVE reading, but can never find anything they actually WANT to read. Every Friday during our class study hall, we have independent read time. My students often don't come with any book because it's too hard for them to get to the library and their parents cannot afford books. Solution? A high-interest classroom library that will build every year!
This will be the inaugural year for our classroom library of student-chosen books.
Every book has been hand selected by a student in my classroom. As a burgeoning teenager, being able to have some agency in your own learning builds invaluable investment in students. Everyday when they enter the classroom and see this library, they will understand that their interests matter, that reading matters, and that their education is valuable.
I plan on adding individual books to the library when my budget allows it, but please consider helping out with some of the more big ticket items. For instance, earlier this year I took my students to see a Harry Potter exhibit at the New York Historical Society. SO many of them were telling me how they had had the chance to read Harry Potter but had never found the complete collection. Either their library didn't have it, their classroom library was missing editions or it was too expensive. I am thrilled to potentially be the teacher to put the love of reading back into the hands of my awesome students.
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