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Ms. Birnbaum from Chicago IL is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Reaching to Read Beyond Our Level

My students need audio books to use with our listening center to improve our reading comprehension and fluency and 60 hang-up bags and 3 racks to store the books and CDs.

  • $684 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Each morning students reflect on their hopes and dreams for the school year in morning meeting. Many students write about wanting to become better readers. Using our class values of cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self control, I hope to see their hopes and dreams come true.

I teach second grade at a high needs school in Chicago.

My school is unique in that it practices responsible inclusion of students with special needs such as autism and developmental delays. As a result, 25% of my students receive special education services and 85% of my students are considered to be low income. Already in second grade, many of the students are reading below grade level. This makes it a challenge to find material that is both engaging and at my students' reading levels within our school and the curriculum that is provided to us. In addition, my students often complain that the stories that come with the curriculum are not "real stories." In my classroom I strive to pass on my love of reading to my students. One way I would like to do this is by providing students with the opportunity to access books that are interesting to them and that they see as meaningful to read.

My Project

Every day, I read out loud to my class in order to provide my students with access to reading materials that are on grade level but above many of their independent reading levels. While my students struggle to read grade level material fluently, they are able to pick up grade level reading concepts and participate in discussions about the books they are listening to. The challenge for my students comes during independent reading time when I am working with small groups and they are striving to practice the new skills that they learned independently. Using a listening center and books on CDs, my students are able to independently practice grade level reading skills they are learning without getting stuck on the words. As a result, they are more engaged in their reading activities that are related to the books. They also benefit from following hearing the appropriate reading pace being modeled on the CDs as they follow along.

Currently, we have read and reread all of the books on CDs that we have in our classroom.

My students are constantly asking for new titles to be added to our collection as listening center is their favorite center. Adding books will give them a chance to be exposed to many more titles and adventures then they otherwise wouldn't have access to resulting in an increased passion for reading. In addition, they will gain insight into skills at their grade level and become more fluent readers.

Read More
Ms. Birnbaum
Grades PreK-2
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 50 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
RACK READ ALONG RED • School Specialty $20.97 3 $62.91
HANGUP BAG DELUXE 14X12.5 PACK OF 10 • School Specialty $10.47 6 $62.82
The Kissing Hand • AKJ Books $11.66 3 $34.98
Diary of a Spider Doreen Cronin, Harry Bliss (Illustrator) • AKJ Books $11.04 3 $33.12
Diary of a Spider Doreen Cronin, Harry Bliss (Illustrator), • AKJ Books $26.96 1 $26.96
The New Kid on the Block • AKJ Books $6.49 3 $19.47
Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day • AKJ Books $5.19 3 $15.57
Snow Day! • AKJ Books $5.17 3 $15.51
Surprising Sharks: Read and Wonder • AKJ Books $5.10 3 $15.30
Gentle Giant Octopus • AKJ Books $5.10 3 $15.30
Ice Bear • AKJ Books $5.10 3 $15.30
Walk With a Wolf • AKJ Books $5.10 3 $15.30
The Emperor''s Egg: Read, Listen, and Wonder Martin Jenkins, • AKJ Books $5.10 3 $15.30
Healthy Eating • AKJ Books $14.69 1 $14.69
Pigsty Mark Teague • AKJ Books $4.54 3 $13.62
Skippyjon Jones • AKJ Books $4.54 3 $13.62
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! Lucille Colan • AKJ Books $4.54 3 $13.62
Rosa Parks (hardback w/CD) • Kaplan Early Learning Company $11.48 1 $11.48
The Kissing Hand - Paperback with CD • Kaplan Early Learning Company $11.01 1 $11.01
CD-New Kid on the Block: Selected Poems Jack Prelutsky, Read by-Audio • AKJ Books $9.72 1 $9.72
CD-Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day-CD • AKJ Books $9.07 1 $9.07
Skippyjon Jones - Paperback & CD • Kaplan Early Learning Company $8.49 1 $8.49
Pigsty - Paperback with CD • Kaplan Early Learning Company $8.49 1 $8.49
There was a Cold Lady who Swallowed some Snow! Book and CD • Kaplan Early Learning Company $8.46 1 $8.46
Teacher From The Black Lagoon Mike Mike Thaler • AKJ Books $2.59 3 $7.77
Ice Bear - Paperback & CD • Kaplan Early Learning Company $7.64 1 $7.64
Stone Soup - Paperback & CD • Kaplan Early Learning Company $7.64 1 $7.64
The Emperor's Egg - Paperback and CD • Kaplan Early Learning Company $7.64 1 $7.64
Gentle Giant Octopus • AKJ Books $6.56 1 $6.56
Teacher from the Black Lagoon • AKJ Books $6.49 1 $6.49
Surprising Sharks • AKJ Books $5.84 1 $5.84
Walk with a Wolf: Read, Listen and Wonder Janni Howker, Sara • AKJ Books $5.84 1 $5.84
CD - Snow Day! • AKJ Books $4.52 1 $4.52

Materials cost


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Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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