This is where I use my blog for my own (students') gain. I need your help!
In case you don't know, I teach 8th grade ELA (that is middle school speak for English Language Arts) at Kingsbury Middle School in Memphis, Tennessee. I love my job. I love my kids. I love to read. My kids, for the most part, do not love to read. Mostly because they have not done so for fun before and so it is a chore for them. Also, most of my students read 1-2 years below grade level (because English is their second language, because they do not have the support of books and parents who read a lot at home, or because of other responsibilities like work or watching younger siblings), so then reading feels HARD and boring. Some have come to the conclusion that they hate reading and writing. They LOVE science and are really good at it, and many love math or social studies. I think I may have heard two students say English was their favourite class. I love a good challenge though. I love to read and want to prove to them that they do, too, they just don't know it yet.
Part of the problem is not having books at their reading level. I came from teaching 11th and 12th grade the year before, and my own collection of books, along with a ton which were generously donated to me, were way too high for my kids to read. Also, I had one copy of each book, so they could never share what they were reading with their classmates.
My MTRGive project for this summer is to get a leveled library. There is a description on the page, but basically I will buy 5 copies of each book at a variety of levels (4th-9th grade- I do have some students who are above grade level) and then have a structured silent reading time each week. Their 7th grade teachers have given me their reading levels so I can start the year knowing exactly what level book they need! I will assign books so that each student has 4 other companions reading the same book and they will be able to talk about it. I have chosen a variety of books that I hope will be interesting to boys and girls, history or science geeks as well as any potential English nerds. I would LOVE to have this ready to go by August 5th- our first day of school.
As a reward for your reading, you can watch my end of year video to my class who just graduated. I love those kids to death.
Donations are tax deductible, but more importantly, you will be helping students learn to love reading, which will give them so much confidence and engagement in school.
* As a super extra nice favor, can anyone who loves me and has a blog or twitter account PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE repost this??? Thanks so much!