I am the proud reading teacher of a 5th grade inclusive classroom in a high poverty area. This means that our classroom includes both general education students as well as special needs students with varying exceptionalities. In our case, the overwhelming majority of both our general education students and special need students are working significantly below grade level in Reading. They also struggle tremendously with organization. At our school, over 93% of our students receive free or reduced lunch.
We are located in a district hard hit with budget cuts and in a school with limited resources. We work with what we have and are always finding creative ways to meet our needs, but sometimes it is just not enough for those extra projects we know would benefit our students immensely. We are unable to request supplies from parents throughout the year due to the high poverty that many of our students come from. Students often do not have the basic school supplies needed each day.
I believe in the importance of teaching students organizational skills in my classroom. These are skills they will keep for their lifetime. I am trying to create a class-wide binder system called "STAR Books" (with STAR standing for: Students Taking Academic Responsibility) so that students can learn how to maintain their class materials in a highly organized and structured way. The binders will be color-coded based on our specific classroom needs (i.e. the green section is for spelling). Additionally, these binders will be used for parent communication which is an essential component in any classroom.
Your support will help to encourage lifelong organizational skills that my students desperately need. You will make it possible for each student, regardless of their financial situation at home, have the materials that he/she needs to have a STAR Book. As these students leave 5th grade and enter middle school, they will be fully equipped to handle the responsibility of maintaining their class materials for each of their different classes.
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