Multicultural Books and Other Reading and Writing Materials
My students need books that reflect their life experience, as well as materials such as magnet letters and letter stamps that make learning the alphabet fun.
My adorable kindergartners, first graders and fourth graders are so excited about learning, but our English as a second language classroom had no books or other supplies when the school year began. Teachers must purchase everything themselves, but my students deserve more than what I can buy.
I left behind a career in journalism to teach English as a second language in an urban school.
I now teach (mostly) sweet kindergarten to fourth graders, many of whom had never heard English before walking through the school doors this fall.
Ours is an underprivileged school in Indianapolis, where all students receive free breakfast and lunch. A third of the 600 students speak another language (typically Spanish) at home. I try to make my classroom a place where children can feel they truly belong, in spite of their differences in language and culture. I encourage them to ask questions and admit what they do not know. Both their English and my Spanish are improving!
More than half of my school's students failed the ISTEP test last year. But, with a new principal and many new staff members, we are working hard to turn the school around. Our kindergarten students have shown more growth this fall than those at any other school in the district!
Reading in English presents a special challenge for my Spanish-speaking students. They will be more eager to try if they can read about people and places they can relate to: such as immigrant children, Mexican, and Latinos, such as Cesar Chavez and Sonia Sotomayor, who overcame poverty to pursue successful careers. Also on my wish list are books of nursery rhymes and poems, which are an important and pleasurable way for children to learn about word components and what "rhyming" means.
Other supplies, such as letter stamps, magnetic letters, and letter dice, will give my kids fun ways to begin spelling and writing, both individually and as a group. The large paper will allow my classes to post stories in the classroom that we've written together and re-read them from time to time. They'll be excited to see the fruits of their labor displayed for all to see.
Reading is the key to making strides in every content area, and it is so important that they get off to a strong start.
Children who cannot read by the end of second grade have a much greater chance of dropping out of school. I want my kids to beat the odds!
Writing is the skill that my students struggle with most. I'd like to provide them with materials that make writing seem fun, rather than a chore. These supplies will add variety and motivate my students to stretch their wings as writers.
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