He came bounding down the hallway on his way to science, pivot turning, he spun around and strode up to me with a wide grin on his face.
"Hey, Miss, did you hear about that book on constipation - nah, wait, it hasn't come out yet!"
I watched him lope away, turning quickly over his shoulder to catch my inevitable snicker. My students know that I love puns and corny jokes and they deliver. These interactions say so much about my students.
First, they're smart. You would not believe the vocabulary and sophistication of the humor they present on a daily basis.
Second, they're thoughtful and caring. None of them have to share silly jokes with me, but they do because they know that it makes me smile.
Third, they're playful. They're sixth graders, but they're not too cool for silliness.
What these interactions don't tell you about my students is this: all of them receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch when they come to school. They are from Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, and from all over the United States, not just from New England. They work incredibly hard. They are worth it.
My students read at a range of levels. Some are above grade level, some are below, some are within the "standard range". I am amazed at how frequently students, regardless of their current level, are reluctant to read because they feel insecure about their abilities.
Help my students to see reading as a gift.
The children's books listed in this project are not for our classroom library. Instead, they are for my students to read and to give away.
Students will select a book that they enjoy, read it, and then write a letter to a new family about the importance of reading to their young children.
The busy maternity ward at one of our local hospitals has agreed to distribute as many books, and accompanying letters, as we can provide to families with newborn children. Your gift will allow the students to feel more proud of their gifts. Instead of giving an older book with signs of wear, students will be able to provide new books to new parents and caregivers.
My hope is that in writing to others about the importance of reading, my students will internalize its importance for themselves. We will read, talk, and write about the fact that reading to children, regardless of our own notions of our reading skills, helps children to feel comforted, connected, and helps to build literacy from an early age.
More reading leads to stronger readers. Help my students not only to hear this message, but to share it with others as well. Your gift leads them to have confidence in their gifts.
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