I teach eighth grade students. They are polite, respectful, energetic and dedicated to doing their best every day. Eighth grade is the transition and bridge year to high school, and my students are aware of the importance of this critical point in their education. Many of them are stepping up with better grades and a better attitude than in their two previous years of middle school, due to maturity and a realization that college is near.
My students are passionate 21st-century learners at a California Distinguished School.
Some of my students come from affluent households and some come from the other extreme. The students have all had access to high achieving schools and exemplary teachers in our school district coupled with rigorous educational standards.
Despite the varied financial backgrounds from which they come, these students have forged deep friendships and relationships with one another. Within the classroom walls, these students will stop at nothing to support one another in becoming successful, just like a family! The work ethic, stamina, and perseverance that my students possess are inspirational and a positive foundation that I want to ensure they carry on with them to high school and beyond.
The newly released young adult novels in verse purchased from this project will be used in book groups of no more than 4 students per group. By reading a novel in a small group, the students will have a greater opportunity to dig deeply into the reading with their peers through rich discussion daily. The students will be given a choice as to which book group they desire based on their interests in each book. The students will be given ample time to peruse the books and pick the top three books that they would most like to read. They will get one of their top three choices, and later have a chance to read the other two novels in verse from their priority list as well. Students will learn how to richly discuss a book's characters, theme, plot and setting. This is much more accessible for students in small groups as opposed to a large class setting. The pace of the reading increases as well with book groups, so a habit of reading will be created.
The donations from this project will vastly improve the reading lives of my students which has sadly evaporated during the course of the pandemic.
Right now they are at a turning point with reading and if they are not hooked back into reading before they head off to high school and college, they will, unfortunately, find school to be very difficult for them. These books will provide the interest and passion for reading again that so many of my students have lost suddenly. The books are newly released young adult fiction that will spark reading again.
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