I have a group of energetic second graders who have a lot of questions. They come to school most days eager to learn. Although some don't start off their day coming from homes that support education. Many walk out the door without breakfast, or clothes that are clean. Our school now provides breakfast to all students right in the classroom. Coolers are brought in everyday packed with some sort of cereal bar, processed breakfast item, juice and milk. Here they spend the next 6 hours, giving it some effort. Most students are below grade level, and came to school back in Kindergarten not ever being exposed to a book or a pencil. We have done a tremendous amount of work with these students, but some have no support at home to follow up with what they are taught. Homework comes back incomplete, and no reading is done before bed. It is sometimes do to the lack of parent education or the language spoken within the home.
Each day in second grade we have 20 minutes of independent reading. Students are given times to go through the classroom library and choose books that are at their level. These book bins will enable my students to organize the books that they choose for their reading. They can be stored on the shelves in the classroom and not shoved in desks where the books begin to fall apart. The students can then easily move around the room with their bin, and flip through the books that they have. At the end of the time, the bin can be placed back in the designated spot with ease.
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