My students are a group of hardworking fourth graders! They come from humble families and enjoy the small school atmosphere. Our school is surrounded by fields, dairies, and a rich Central Valley history. Nearly 50% of our population is socioeconomically challenged and many are not native English speakers. Our classroom is comprised of students of all cultures and educational backgrounds. We greatly value each other and pride ourselves on character education. As their teacher, I've had the opportunity get to know them as they share their experiences through connections to texts we are reading in class. I've seen them work through a difficult math problem and glow with pride when they figured it out through meaningful collaboration. They are truly unique and I am proud to be their teacher.
As these fourth graders enter into a new era of Common Core and technology based instruction, they have the potential to be amazing critical thinkers.
Some have lived with technology all of their lives. Some do not have access to any technology aside from school. Amazing things can happen when they are given the tools to succeed in today's world. I see their greatness and I know others will.
We are requesting a class set of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone books because it is a classic book that captures the imaginations of boys and girls, and men and women of all ages! I remember the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was in college and I finished it in a couple of days. I read all of the remaining books quite quickly thereafter. It has always been a part of my life and many of the themes relate to the real world. I can teach my students that they can overcome any adversity if they work hard and never give up. Harry had a hard life with an unsupportive aunt and uncle. They did not see his uniqueness as a strength, but as something that should be hidden from the world. My students, all unque in their own way, can live up to their greatest potential if they belive in themselves.
Dumbledore says to Harry, " there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right." How amazing would it be to get a discussion going on this quote or the many others that lend themselves to real discussion.
Most fourth graders have seen the movie, but don't really understand the messages, themes, relationships, character development, and secondary plot lines. They miss out on characters cut from the movie that bring light to a character's motivations. They do not get to glimpse the inner struggles of the characters in the fight to do what is right. They see good and bad, but do not see the morally grey, such as Professor Snape. I would love to explore the magic of the wizarding world with my students.
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