Hello Team Prospect Students and Parents,
I wanted to let you know about the reading expectations for English Language Arts this year. Students are responsible for reading 30 minutes every day, as has been true in past years of middle school. This 30-minute daily requirement may come from in-class reading, the Read Read Read Unified Arts class, and independent reading time at home. The most important thing is that your students are reading, and that they enjoy what they are reading.
Reading Logs will look a little different this year than last. Last year, I was discouraged by the participation rate with reading logs. At the start of last year, roughly 50% of students turned in reading logs. By the end of the year, the participation rate for reading logs was down to about 10%. I came to realize that reading logs were not encouraging enough students to read, and students saw reading logs as a chore, rather than as a tool to help them with independent reading. I want students to know that independent reading should not be a chore, and should be something that they are motivated to do because they enjoy it. In an effort to get more students reading, reading logs will look more like a list of books read, rather than a weekly sheet that includes questions. Students may also be asked, occasionally, to send me an email or write a short paragraph about what they're reading. It can be helpful to encourage a “no screen time” rule for a certain amount of time, to give your students time and space to read.
Please see the attached list "Team Prospect's Favorite Books." All of the books on the list are favorites of at least one student (or teacher) on the team. This year, we will be reading some books as a class. We are currently at the end of reading The Giver by Lois Lowry for our dystopia and government unit. This winter, we may be reading The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson as part of our unit on immigration. During our Holocaust unit this coming spring, students will have a choice in the novel they read. Some Holocaust-themed novels are Night by Elie Wiesel, Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, and Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry.
Please feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about reading, or anything else relating to Language Arts! Check out the Favorite Books list, and happy reading.