As a literacy teacher to 5th-graders, it is always my mission to develop engaging ways to influence my students to love reading and writing. With this in mind, I was eager this year to engulf my classroom environment with the tools students need to become literacy analyzers. Why not decorate with the tools they use to communicate their thinking? I sought to find the most creative way to turn my classroom into a real-life composition notebook accented by motivating mantras that they can see every day to get them to think and engage in conversations. This year, I know I have influenced them at least to notice how literacy is everywhere around them. It brings me so much joy to hear them say, ‘Mrs. Roper, I’ve never seen anything like this. I will always remember my 5th-grade literacy classroom.’ Hearing them say this validates all the effort and time I put into this environment to motivate young minds.
— Jamala Roper, 5th-grade literacy, PS 179, Bronx
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