This grant will provide Spanish books to help build our classroom library so students have richer literacy experiences to better access the Common Core State Standards. Currently (as I am new to this district), our classroom library lacks a variety of genres, does not contain much authentic Spanish literature, and does not represent our diverse 21st century society. Having quality Spanish books, both fiction and nonfiction, is foundational to creating strong readers and writers. Our classroom library books are used to read aloud daily to students. Reading books aloud to young elementary students provides a demonstration of phrased and fluent reading, makes complex ideas available to them, and develops their knowledge of story structure and text features. Reading aloud to students, especially second language learners, increases their vocabulary and promotes their oral language development in an engaging and age-appropriate way. These books can also be used as model texts to teach reading strategies and as a basis for writing. Additionally, throughout the day students have opportunities to read independently or with a partner, and our classroom library will serve as some of their book choices. The new books will give the students a wide range of materials to apply their reading strategies independently and will support their love of reading!
In our two-way immersion program, many students struggle with vocabulary and concept acquisition in their second language. The authors of the Common Core State Standards state, “By reading a story or nonfiction selection aloud, teachers allow children to experience written language without the burden of decoding, granting them access to content that they may not be able to read and understand by themselves. Children are then free to focus their mental energy on the words and ideas presented in the text, and they will eventually be better prepared to tackle rich written content on their own.” (Appendix A, pg 27) The 200 book titles in this collection relate to all areas of our curriculum, support the CCSS, and will serve as a platform for vocabulary development, improved reading comprehension, fluency modeling, teaching reading strategies, and as a basis for writing. After reading selected books students will benefit from participating in structured conversations in response to books read aloud, allowing them to practice listening and speaking skills in their second language. They can then synthesize the information they have learned and apply their new learning to their own reading and writing. In our classroom, we work on respecting our learning environment and being responsible for our materials, so the books will be in good hands and will be used for many years to come in our first grade classroom.
Success for this program will be clear when books are read aloud multiple times daily to teach new concepts or model strategies, and then students apply what they’ve learned to their own reading and writing. Success will also be seen when students access the classroom library to select a book they are excited to read, and read the book either independently or with a partner. Additionally, success will be heard when students use the language, syntax, grammar or concepts learned from texts in their conversations, or seen when students write using what they have learned from the texts. And most importantly, success will be seen on our students faces when they are listening to or reading rich texts and are enjoying reading!
Students will have a variety of books to choose from - authentic Spanish literature, bilingual books, fictional books, informational texts in math, science and social studies, poetry, biographies, and more. This variety will greatly increase the current collection of books we have in use in our classroom, enhancing the potential for great literacy experiences and learning.
We will start using these books immediately upon receipt. Many of the books will go directly into our classroom library, organized mainly by genre, for students to supplement what they are reading independently or with a partner. Depending upon the unit we are studying, I will read aloud some of the books within the first weeks to use them as model texts for teaching reading strategies or writing, or as interactive read alouds. Other books will be used throughout the rest of this school year as we explore our additional units. I plan on organizing all the books into our first grade unit themes or by text genre so they are ready for use in future years with our upcoming groups of first graders.
Yes! I work very closely with my grade level team and we collaborate on a daily basis. We often share materials and can easily share texts throughout a unit so all our first graders can benefit from quality books. Additionally, there are times we have mixed groups of first graders (other than on homeroom group) in our classrooms, and they would also benefit from this new collection of books.
We will receive some books included with potential adopted curriculum next school year (2018-2019), but the curriculum does not include the quality of trade books that are requested in this grant. As of right now, it is unclear what the curriculum adoption will be since we are currently piloting different programs to best inform our decision. I do have some classroom funds but they are/have been used for other necessary classroom items and would not cover the cost of this classroom library collection.
The link I have included is the Booksource Catalog for Spanish Language Collections. On pages 12 and 13 of the catalog, you can see more about the books included in the 200 titles for the complete classroom library.
Thank you for considering this application.