First grade is an exciting time for my little ones. For most they have had a year of school already, and now we are getting into the nitty gritty of their education. Even though I teach at a Title I school where all the students are on free and reduced lunch, my kids are quite the mixture. I have students with too many siblings to count, and others who do not have any but wish they did. I have the common nuclear family, parents who are divorced, parents who are getting divorced, those who never knew their dad at all, or their dad is in jail. Despite any shortcomings life might have dealt my students, they are so excited to come to my class and learn. This is a safe place for them where they know they are loved unconditionally.
Our reading program has eight thematic units. These books that are recommended by the program are for units 7 and 8 and would be placed in my reading center (classroom library). These books will allow my students to engage more in what we are learning. The books are below, at, and above my grade level, so that more students are able to enjoy and read independently. The students are able to choose books that interest them but also take their learning further. Students in our classrooms vary greatly in their literacy needs and ability levels. As a result, it is necessary to provide multiple opportunities for students to read, participate in meaningful experiences, and collaborate with others so that they can develop their ability to read and comprehend texts.
With these new books, my students will be able to choose books that will engage them to read independently at their own grade level.
Many of my students do not have access to books regularly. They go to the library here at school once a week and are able to check out one book every six days. Parents do not take them to their local library, and they have mentioned they do not have books at home. The best way to increase reading ability is to read more, and these books will continue to help my students grow stronger in reading. As I state to my parents weekly on progress reports, "Being able to read is essential to life."
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