My students need fluency timers, fluency flash cards, book bins, and a CD player
This project expired on July 11, 2008.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
The Stellar Scholar Readers of Room 104 are aiming high with a goal of an increased reading level of two years. I am a first-year teacher with the program Teach For America and am teaching 25 fourth graders in a low-income area in Denver. The past few months I have been saddened by the challenges my students face both inside and outside the classroom but also inspired by their perseverance to succeed against all odds.
At the fourth grade level in a high-need community such as ours, it is not uncommon to see low reading levels. However, to add to this challenge, all but one student in my classroom is a second-language learner who has recently transitioned into my English speaking class. Some students may have been on grade level in their native language, but upon transitioning, many are now reading as low as a first grade level in English. Unfortunately, their low levels of literacy affect all academic areas and is something that is in critical need for improvement so that the students can achieve any type of academic success. Unfortunately, our classroom library is unorganized with little to no tools to aid in fluency, one of they key components to help English language learners. Although our classroom has headphones, we have no working tape/cd player, which would dramatically assist my students who are still struggling with basic English phonics skills. In order to improve this situation, I have invested my students in our big class goal of improving two years in reading levels. I hope that their excitement can continue with the proper resources to aid in their academic achievement.
One of my priorities is to organize our classroom library so that students can easily locate their "just-right" level book that is of interest. Reading bins with labels are the perfect solution so that I can label each group according to level and genre. In addition, I have begun to emphasize the importance of fluency and would like to pair students to read weekly fluency poems together and time their speed. If we have a class set of timers, one per each each pair of students, this can become a quick routine in the morning. When students can see a visible improvement after simply reading the same poem several times, it can be a great motivator. Audio reinforcement of English would also be a wonderful classroom aid, with the use of a tape/CD player that could play books on tape while students read along.
Even without the proper resources, I have seen my students' determination to improve in the classroom. I know that such a generous donation would give my Stellar Scholars an additional motivation to succeed. Having been the recipient of multiplication flashcards from DonorsChoose.org earlier this year, I was able to witness my students' excitement to engage in the classroom and feel "important" enough to receive such a gift. I can assure you that this donation will be a motivator and an academic aid to help every student in Room 104 meet our big goal.
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