My students need a soft, comfortable rug to sit on for read-aloud time, partner reading, individual pleasure/(practice) reading, working with manipulatives in math, big book reading, etc. because our classroom floor is hard, bare, cold vinyl.
My special, sweet kiddos ALL come from low socioeconomic households, with very little parental educational support, no structure or discipline, a great deal of basic neglect (clothes don't get laundered, won't have proper outdoor winter attire, shoes with holes in the soles, no one spends time with them or reads to them, etc.) and many wondering where their next meal is going to come from once they leave school for the day. Most live with only a single parent, some with dads in jail. School is their "safe haven," where they feel loved and cared for. About 1/3 of them are 2nd language learners, and often don't receive the educational support they need at home because parents do not speak English. Another 1/3 are black and 1/3 are white.
They are 7 years old, love being in school and want to do well, but many are unable to achieve due to situations beyond their control.
Many have attention-deficit disorders due to a variety of reasons and and really struggle to focus. I want to help my hard-working students to learn and be successful in order to be able to lead a better life than the ones they have now.
Our classroom has a hard, cold, vinyl floor, which easily gets very dirty. It is very uncomfortable for my students to sit on and they get dirt on their clothes, so of course they never want to sit on it during SSR time, read-aloud time, or even working with manipulatives during math time. However, it is important that they get opportunities to get out of their seats at their desks and be able to move around, but there is nowhere to go that's comfortable and enjoyable unfortunately. If my hard-working and motivated students had a comfy place to go to read and be read to by me (and be able to get out of their chairs now and then), they would want to read MORE which gives that extra practice that would help raise their achievement and allow them to ENJOY reading. This would also help contribute to the notion of them becoming like-long readers. They would also be able to ENJOY sitting and listening to me read them stories, where I can highlight the elements of literature that they need for comprehension, and ask the deep-thinking questions that they desperately need to develop thinking skills and reading strategies. These are kids who do NOT get read to at home, and read-alouds for young children are ESSENTIAL to their learning and achievement. Working with hands-on activities in reading and math as well are also necessary for young children to understand concepts. Nothing is inviting about a hard, cold, dirty vinyl floor. Our district will not provide the basic necessity of an area rug for the children, and it's a sad state of affairs for my poor kiddos.
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