Maya Angelou states, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”
If I had to choose one word to describe my students, it would be curious.
They are curious about the world around them and love to explore that world through books. My students come from a variety of backgrounds and socioeconomic classes. Many have a passion for reading and crave more choices in the books that they read. Others, are only one book away from becoming life long readers.
I teach over 90 students throughout my day. Each of those 90 students has a unique story to tell. While in my classroom, I want them to feel welcome to share it. One way to promote empathy and a sense of belonging is to surround my students with a variety of books. I want them to feel that they are represented when they look around my classroom library. It is my goal to add books into my classroom library that represent their diverse lives and unique experiences and perspectives.
Kelly Gallagher states that a classroom should include a flood of books that are of high interest to students. New, high interest books in multiple genres, will add to the diversity of my classroom library. While the reading of high quality literature is completed in class, students are also required to read thirty minutes daily as homework as well. I strongly believe that it is up to the classroom teacher to attract young readers to great books. My book shelves have every genre and multiple reading levels: picture books, chapter books, fiction books, and nonfiction books. Providing more novels that are of high interest to my students will teach them how to choose books that are right for them, and guide them towards a life of reading.
Whether children are reading academic books or books that are of interest to them, reading improves academic vocabulary, writing skills, analytical thinking skills and test scores.
Reading opens the doors to college and beyond. It arms students against oppression and will prepare them for the rigors of work. Creating young, avid readers now, will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
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