My students are in the business of becoming leaders. They envision ways to improve the world, and I envision ways to work reading, writing, and math into their dreams.
I teach special education at an urban school where 100% of students receive free lunch.
There is no stigma attached to my resource room--everyone wants to come in. That's because my room is where student goals become real life skills through the project approach. My students get engaged with learning, setting their own weekly goals, reading out loud to kindergarteners, planning fundraisers for Positive School Climate, and studying the history of world peace.
My students range in age from 11-14, and like most pre-teens, they are hungry for books that explore the complex personal, social, and scientific topics that are most relevant to their age group. They want to read about friendships, family, school, and social issues in the wider world. Especially popular in my class right now are texts about Black history and books about bullying. A unique challenge that my class faces is finding books appropriate for my most vulnerable readers, who are reading at a kindergarten level. I will use these beginning reader texts as a supplement to my curriculum to enhance sight word and phonics instruction, teaching students the words and skills necessary to read texts that they have chosen so that they will leave my class with a sense of dignity, success, and accomplishment.
My students are eager to learn sight words and phonics, and deserve to have age-appropriate texts that cultivate their interests and get them excited about reading.
They don't want to read "baby books" written for primary students...they want to read about the lives of people like themselves, and people who they can aspire to become. They deserve the dignity of reading age-appropriate books that inspire their interests and build their understanding of the world, just like everyone else. Thanks to Donors Choose, this can become a reality for my teen and pre-teen emergent reader students.
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