This year I am teaching first grade all subjects. My students are excited about becoming proficient readers. I try to teach them the importance of reading. They have been working very hard to try to increase their sight word and vocabulary skills. They are engaged in their learning, and I try to make learning fun and interesting.
I work in an urban school district, where 99.2% are African American.
Almost 62% of students participate in the free and reduced-price meal programs. Our school culture focuses on self-respect/self-esteem, community service, cultural awareness, and global learning in an African-centered learning environment. This has been instilled into students who know, for example, that hallway movements “always follow the green line.”
Reading opens the door to a child's early academic success, imparts a love of learning and leads to higher grades in every subject. Numerous studies have shown that strong oral language skills are the basis for literacy development. When children learn to read at an early age, they have greater general knowledge, expand their vocabulary and become more fluent readers. They also have improved attention spans and better concentration. Early readers can recognize a larger number of words by sight, which enables them to learn more from and about their environment. My students need books to help them improve on recognizing their sight words and to have books to read at their level.
Their proficiency in reading enables them to comprehend more of what they are reading.
They also become competent researchers, who are able to study effectively and extract relevant and necessary information from books, magazines, websites or other sources of information.
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