My students are urban young men and women. Most of my students come from lower-income families, and many have immigrated or are refugees from other countries. In our school, 100% of the students receive free breakfast and lunch. Teachers today, especially in my district, are faced with the difficult task of keeping our students excited about learning. Many students don't receive that reinforcement from home. My 8th graders come to class excited to learn. I teach reading and ELA (English Language Arts) to over 90 8th graders. A lot of them struggle with reading and writing, so it is a challenge.
My students still struggle very much with reading and writing, and I am always searching for ways to light that spark.
We work a lot with non-fiction reading, but also fiction. Relevant, challenging, and high-interest reading sometimes hits the spot!
We are wrapping up our year with two novel units. One novel will be A Soldier's Heart, that recounts a Union soldier's tales of battle in the Civil War. Written by Gary Paulsen, an award-wining author for teens, these novels will surely be full of adventure and coming of age lessons. This novel will also be the culminating activity for our unit on the Underground Railroad. Students will get to see points of view from the North and the South, and from slaves and soldiers. Conflict and diversity, and what we can learn from them, have been the theme of the year. Hopefully, my students have and will learn many lessons.
Our classrooms do not have enough classroom sets of popular or award-winning books.
Teachers, today, struggle with out-of date materials, books that are falling apart, and no money in the budget. That's why I am asking for your help.
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