Wednesday, January 12, 2011


In my classroom, as in any classroom, there is quite a variety of learners. Some students are performing grade levels below, while others are performing well above the expectations of a 6th grader. Striving to meet their needs as students of academia has been the theme of the year.

While I have students on varying levels, I also have students with difficult home lives. Extremely difficult home lives. For Christmas I asked Jim for the book "The Freedom Writers Diary." I have not seen the movie, but needed some inspiration for over my winter break. It seems that this couldn't have been a better choice!


Though the book takes place in the inner city in California with crime, drugs, and you name it, there was a striking parallel to the lives of my students in rural Appalachia. I've been inspired to encourage my students to use their "Day Books" as diaries, as well. Some of them already do use their Day Book as an outlet, but it could become so much more. I plan to use Zlata's Diary, one of the books Erin Gruwell read with her students, as an example of narrative nonfiction and as our next book choice.

We'll see how it goes next week!

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