James Baldwin wrote, “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” For many of my students, coming to school means rising above a lack of restful sleep, inaccessibility to a nutritious breakfast, and the inaccurate sense that all that the world has to offer may not be for them. That's why in our classroom, students can always trust that they are safe, recognized for their strengths and whole selves, and invited to explore and communicate about the world around us. Carrying immense responsibilities and experience from a young age, my students are supported and primed to recognize their own unique potential as powerful readers, writers, and scholars.
For many students, especially those with learning disabilities, feeling safe enough to be vulnerable to try, make mistakes, and try again when learning to read can be daunting. The process of learning to read can become embarrassing to students, especially as they reach the middle school years and feel hyper aware of how their reading skills compare to those of their peers. Instead of being a relaxing and imaginative activity, reading becomes associated with stress and struggle, and they no longer want to try to improve the reading skills they need to be successful.
In helping us to create a Cozy Book Nook, students can begin to reconnect with the joys and benefits of reading in a classroom setting.
Getting comfortable on a couch worthy of their scholastic pursuits, surrounded by stories and small comforts that invite a calming atmosphere, students can choose to pop on noise-cancelling headphones and enjoying getting lost in a good book!
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