As a team, our school as chosen a variety of books that would best support our curriculum in each grade level and books that would allow students to have a variety of levels to choose from when selecting for themselves. Students will be able to move between classrooms with ease and still find success in reading because there are options of levels on the same topic. We decided on a variety of books from Jean Craighead George that support our science and literacy standards while maintaining student engagement. The book set The Case of the Missing Cutthroat directly connects to our Trout in the Classroom project participation and students can cross grade level read this series during "Reading Buddies." The author also writes books called One Day in the... which there are five different short chapter books and each connects to a habitat. Students are engaged in a fictional text while still being able to pull factual information to apply in class. This directly connects to our second and third grade NGSS standards. Other books include Greek mythology for our 2nd and 3rd grade literacy standards. Finally, we've come to understand and connect with our students deeply. We have learned what they love to read and constantly try to stay on top of finding engaging books that keep them interested and help them learn to love reading. The Hank Zipzer series is a book set we have included because we are finding that it really connects to our students who struggle to read for a variety of reasons. We would like the whole set so more students can begin to find an entry point in loving to read.
Providing students with variety in levels, genres, and authors is always a benefit in any classroom. The best way to become a better reader is to read. I've always believed that our job as teachers is to support the child in discovering what it is they love about learning, what types of books inspire them, and to engage them by connecting and learning more about the child. From there we can make classroom choices that support literacy and life-long learning. These book choices specifically support the curriculum. We've spent much time trying to be sure that our selection directly aligns to themes and common core standards across while vertically aligning one grade to the next. We will observe the benefits as students select, read, and take AR quizzes on these books. We will see benefits as STAR assessment scores rise. We will see the benefit when a child takes home a book for the first time with a smile on their face after a long period of being a reluctant reader.
The success was also described above. We should see formative and summative assessment scores rise as students become more engaged in the classroom curriculum because there is an appropriate entry point for learning available to all students. Students will also be able to make across disciplines connections as we create thematic learning opportunities.
There will be immediate implementation. I'm looking forward to the Greek myth books for my first unit next year which will really draw in my new class of students. The three teachers will share the texts in the library that we have created in our spare space at school and we will also utilize the books in our curriculum that allows us to come together for our cross grade level units.
I am writing the grant but we have discussed it is a team and have planned these books as a team so we can all utilize them together. This is a very specific selection of books that we have decided upon together while planning and analyzing students.
I have attached a link to Truckee's Word After Word online cart of books. The only items that they don't have available but can order are the books What a Beast Guide to Mythology at $13.95, the Hank Zipzer Series of 8 books for a total of $50.99, and One Day in the... for $28.75.
We have been trying to create more current book selections for our students. We have purchased some books already with our site funds but we don't have the current funding in our budget for these books.