My students enter my classroom with a diverse set of experiences and abilities, and it is my responsibility to help them come together and learn from one another. Through a varied set of texts we discuss the past and their futures. Not only do students need the skills to read and write effectively, they need to practice their critical thinking skills, and decision making in a safe non-judgemental environment.
As a class, we focus on our goals and how our attitude and the choices we make today can impact reaching these goals.
Students frequently work collaboratively, since rarely in the real world do we work in isolation. Building life skills that students can take with them after graduation is important and fostered through positive relationships and examples.
Literacy research and student responses illustrates the need and desire for choice and relevant reading opportunities for students to engage in texts that share diverse stories; stories that reflect student experiences. Students will have a choice of reading any of these six novels based on their own interests and experiences. When student engagement improves, like it does with choice, so too will critical thinking skills, writing, and reading comprehension.
Literature circles provide opportunities for students to discuss novels in small groups and work collaboratively to analyze the novel in terms of theme, character, and style, while challenging stereotypes and assumptions.
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