As students enter my classroom, I smile seeing their faces light up. These diverse adolescents know that my room is a place they will be challenged, given respect, and pushed to think critically about themselves and their literature. I am grateful to teach 8th grade English in a culturally, economically, and racially diverse school. In my classroom, reading chosen literature is the only homework; through these experiences with literature, my developing readers are able to grow into confident and accepting young adults.
In my classroom, reading chosen literature is so much more than academic work; through these experiences with literature, my developing readers are able to grow into confident, empowered, and accepting young adults.
Author and educator Regie Routman explains that "classroom libraries are a literacy necessity; they are integral to successful teaching and learning and must become a top priority if our students are to become thriving, engaged readers." As an educator, I believe the most impactful thing I can do is foster my students' love of reading by providing rich, authentic experiences with literature.
From the first day of school, my students know that their only homework in my class is to read a chosen novel for at least twenty minutes each night. With pandemic stress, family obligations, social lives, and homework in their other courses, students honestly have a hard time setting aside reading time; therefore, it is imperative that I create that time for them.
Motivating students to read chosen literature daily is truly the most impactful thing I can do for my eighth graders' future success: I can only do this authentically by providing high-interest novels as homework.
Reading is proven to increase comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. Reading for pleasure improves students abilities in other content areas like social studies, science, and math. Also, through reading, my students gain empathy, and learn to be more understanding young adults. The goal of this project is to provide my students with dozens of diverse, engaging novels that they can bring home and enjoy each night. Thank you!
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