This project will benefit all three fifth grade classes at Hickory Hills Elementary by building a positive classroom environment and a reading community. We have compiled a list of diverse chapter books to use in our classroom book clubs. We are structuring book clubs to teach students stamina, communication skills, working with others, and character traits; for example, taking responsibility. By the time students come to fifth grade, they have read a lot of the titles from our current books and are bored with them. With new titles, we are hoping students will become more engaged, which then results in becoming more respectful towards others (knowing when to speak and listen), responsibility (reading and assignments completed on time), and be safe (making everyone feel welcome and valued).
- Need Represented: We feel there is a need for updated book titles to promote a positive, engaging reading community in our classrooms. Our current book club selections are dated, and by the time students get to fifth grade, they have read a lot of the books we have.
- Academic Impact: Outside of our goal of instilling the love of reading, this project will also provide many academic benefits. In our current classrooms we have observed a lack of focus and patience in students. If you have the stamina and patience to focus on a book, this will carry over to other subjects beyond reading. Reading builds comprehension, background knowledge, increases vocabulary, and helps develop thought and critical thinking skills. Reading improves focus and concentration, and develops better writing skills. Better readers tend to score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas.
- Student Population: We have approximately 60 students in fifth grade each year. Based on this year's iReady reading test, approximately 48% of our fifth graders are reading one or more grade levels below.