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Posted May 2, 2012

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Horizon Award Bags of Books enhance La Mesa ES Daily 5/Café

Visiting the classrooms of motivated and innovative teachers is a treat under any circumstances. Observing activities made possible by the Fall 2011 Horizon Awards has been especially enjoyable this spring.

Teacher Patricia McPheron and two of her students enjoy a morning reading session using books provided through a Horizon Award.

A recent visit to Patricia McPheron’s 3rd grade classroom at La Mesa ES  resulted in a delightful morning of book reviews and shared reading experiences.   She received a Horizon Award of $1500 for her grant application entitled Bags of Books for Daily 5/Café .  The grant provided individualized, leveled reading material for the students’ book boxes and take home book bags.

Daily 5 is how the classroom language block is structured.  CAFÉ  is what is studied during this time – C for Comprehension, A for Accuracy, F for Fluency, and E for Expanding Vocabulary.  McPheron says, “My students absolutely love the books; the books have been a great help for us to meet this educational need.”   Students shared comments on the books they had read during a recent Daily 5/Café session.  Loretta, reading a book called PIE, talked about every chapter referencing a different flavor of pie.  David read a Calvin and Hobbs book and described in detail the muddy footprints left across the sofa.  Angel cited many complicated statistics in reviewing the section on Michael Jordan in The Greatest Moment in Sports.  Maylena  read  aloud proficiently for two minutes from her selected book.

This project helped students develop daily habits of reading, writing and working independently that will lead to a lifetime of literacy independence.  Each student had easy access to a variety of individualized, leveled reading materials.   It was easy for a visitor to see the joy of reading occurring in this classroom.  The APS Education Foundation is pleased to continue to support classroom teachers to enhance learning and the love of literacy through the Horizon Awards.  

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