I am a new fifth grade teacher at a Title I elementary school in Los Angeles. One of the things I value most about my school is our diversity. In my classroom, I have students from many different backgrounds. I consistently strive to differentiate instruction to meet the various needs of these learners. Unfortunately, our school often lacks the funding to supply our students with the supplies needed to strengthen and enrich their learning in different ways. Although I teach in a general education classroom, many of my students have special needs, including sensory issues, which can make learning challenging for them.
Regardless of their backgrounds, my 33 students are ALL excited about learning and strive to do their very best everyday in the classroom.
These hardworking fifth graders are talented and highly motivated to learn, each day coming to school with a positive attitude and a willingness to tackle new challenges.
Each of my students are excited about learning and strive to do their very best everyday in the classroom. In our class, we are rarely quiet, but we are always learning!
I read aloud The One and Only Ivan to my fourth grade class two years ago. Every day, we sat on the carpet together, entranced by Ivan’s experiences. My students were horrified by the awful conditions Ivan, a captive silverback gorilla, and his companions endured as attractions at the Big Top Mall. We talked about animals and our responsibilities to take care of them. We talked about art and how it provides happiness and comfort to us. We talked about what it meant to be a good friend.
Ivan’s story is hard to bear and it is often difficult to read sad moments out loud to my kids.
On numerous occasions, we would pass the tissue box around our reading corner until everyone took a tissue. Yet, the reaction to the book was resoundingly positive in my classroom. It seemed every student in my class could relate to one of the characters in the book. Even my most timid students became more vocal in their advocacy for Ivan or Stella.
The One and Only Ivan is a Newbery Award winning novel that children and adults can appreciate equally. While loosely based on true events, Ivan, the mighty silverback, is very real to my students and they feel a true connection to him in a way I have rarely seen them connect to another literary character. It's a remarkable story, one that I hope to share with another class this year.
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