Expectations are high for students the moment they arrive. My students want to meet those challenges. My students trust that I will guide them through a complex and difficult world of letters.
My English class has been described as intensive, student-centric, and practical.
Practical because the skills students learn in English will be used their entire lives. Student-centric because students have choice and independence in their learning. I am the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage. Students problem solve together and practice skills on their own. Intensive because we focus on intellectually stimulating subjects like linguistics. Intensive because we write constantly and the practice of getting thoughts onto paper is a muscle students are still developing. Intensive because we are always reading, often more than students are used to until it is a habit.
Students in my English class are responsible for reading independently throughout the year. They select their own books for reading. They are given some class time to read. They write one-pagers (short writing assignments focusing on critical understanding of the text) about their book. The goal is not to write about reading, or think too heavily about reading. The goal is to create lifelong readers.
"People who are undernourished need good food; readers who are undernourished need good books and lots of them," said Kelly Gallagher author of Readicide.
Kelly Gallagher describes Readicide as, "the systematic killing of the love of reading, often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools." I am trying to prevent this from happening to my students through independent reading.
Funding this project will help me to build a classroom library full of high-interest literature, non-fiction, and graphic novels.
I have a brand new group of students this year who walked in to my room at the beginning of the year to find my library stocked with new books. There is already a buzz and excitement about reading in my classes. I want to continue that hype with an injection of new reading material.
I've selected books of many genres and interests to add to my library. I have intelligent and engaging graphic novels (Shaun Tan's The Arrival), culturally relevant historical fiction (Lan Cao's The Monkey Bridge), accessible non-fiction (many selections from the Short Introduction Series), etc. I have tried to include something for everyone in this exciting project.
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