Mrs. G's classroom is filled with a fabulous group of students. I teach two rotations of Language Arts/Social Studies each day, with each class having 24-25 students.
My classes are inclusion, meaning my classroom is a mix of general education students, students with learning disabilities, English as a second language students, and students with ADD and ADHD.
Our school is a Title I elementary school located in Jacksonville, Florida, serving an ethnically diverse group of students.
Since we are a Title I school, that means at least 75% of the school's students qualify for free or reduced price lunch and because of this, a large majority of my students do not have access to books at home and have not developed a love of reading.
Students sometimes view center time as a time to have off topic conversations with their classmates because the teacher is occupied with a teacher led guided reading group. By offering my students colorful, high interest, standards based centers at their individual reading level, they become actively engaged and the centers in turn encourage the students to have accountable talk with each other.
Novel Studies are a great way to not only teach fifth grade standards to my students, but also introduce them to characters that will grab ahold of their hearts and minds. Out of My Mind, Stargirl, and Fish in a Tree are novels where the teen characters overcome challenges and conflicts in their daily lives to become better people. The coming of age tales allow students to self-reflect on their own feelings and behaviors as they begin the journey into their teen years and will soon branch off to middle school where they will meet an even more diverse group of peers.
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