Students from my sixth grade reading classes are eager and diverse learners, often saying, "Thank you for teaching" as they leave for the day. We live in a rural community in Western Colorado where working hard is valued and appreciated. I also grew up in this area.
Each year, I am delightfully surprised when I tell students, "You may borrow a book," and "Yes, you may take it home as long as it's returned when you've finished reading it," there are always smiling faces that hug the book with wide eyes and say, "Really; I can take it home to read!?" Yes!
These kids are worth my dedication for inspiring a love of learning and reading.
Although I have many years experience at the elementary level, this is my first year implementing Guided Reading and Literature Circles at the middle school level. After studying the data we (reading teachers) have on our students, we realized we are in dire need of books sets especially at the third grade level. This gets tricky at middle school because I can't hand 12-year-old students a book with third-grade characters and content, and expect them to enjoy reading it.
I've hand picked these particular titles, not only because I've read these books and feel they portray positive themes, but also because I'm confident my readers will enjoy reading them!
A couple reading groups that I have right now, are reading from books that are busting apart at the spine, page chunks falling out. We're still using them, because it's all we have for that level of book, in a set.
Currently our Literature Circles are running smoothly with set routines and research-based lessons. Having these extra titles in sets, will give students options of high-quality, best-fit books to read. When a student tells me that he, or she, doesn't like reading, I reply, "You just haven't found the right book." I'm excited and confident that these books will be the "right book" to engage, especially, my reluctant readers toward the love of reading!
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