Culturally-Responsive Reading Workshop for Fourth-Graders
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The purpose of this project was to develop a culturally-responsive reading workshop for fourth-graders. This project was designed to bring resources to teachers who have a group of students diverse in learning styles and needs. The lessons in this guide will help teachers reach all students who need to hone and grow their reading skills in preparation for future years of school and their lives. Fourth-graders are struggling to be successful in reading comprehension. Even fourth graders who were previously successful in earlier grades struggle. The question is why this trend happens and what can teachers do to assist students to become and remain strong readers. Fourth-graders need instruction in literacy skills; they also need teachers who can assess their strengths and struggles and can work with them to meet their specific needs. They need to choose what they read as well; this develops intrinsic motivation to continue reading. The more students read, the more practice they have with their reading skills. The more they practice, the more confident students become. Because our country’s demographics are shifting, schools are becoming more diverse, with students from different backgrounds, languages, family structures, and social or cultural identities. Fourth-graders need to have access and exposure to books that mirror themselves and provide windows into other cultures to develop understanding and empathy. Many times, students who find themselves identifying with a character or culture in a story will have enough motivation to continue reading more on their own. This project is comprised of research regarding the literacy needs of a diverse class, the five pillars of reading instruction, and the importance of culturally-relevant texts, criteria for choosing the activities that make up the reading workshop, the reading workshop, and discussions about the workshop.
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