My first graders are eager to learn and LOVE books. I can captivate them with a book on any day that they would normally struggle with the curriculum. Books that I share with them have leveled the playing field for those students who are advanced versus students who are just learning the first grade materials.
I have four EL's in my class.
Two of these students are new to the country. I try to choose activities and books that they can relate to and feel engaged and successful with. Reading to them also provides them with an English role model. I often find them choosing the books I have read to look at a second and third time. This type of activity many times bridges the language gap that they normally struggle with when working on the class assignments.
The goal of most great reading programs across the nation is to match students with the appropriate leveled books. The correct reading level will engage their interest and allow them read and comprehend the material. Many classrooms have large individual libraries for students to choose books from. With students levels ranging from A through Z that would require a lot of books. I have been working hard on increasing my classroom library to accommodate many different reading levels. But the reality of this task is that you can never have enough books!
Incorporating e-books with the use of iPads into the classroom will widen the range of students I can accommodate.
The more they read, the more they grow in their ability to read/comprehend and appreciate books. There is nothing more rewarding as a teacher than watching students light up when they are learning, understanding a concept, or feeling proud of their academic accomplishments.
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