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I am currently an Intensive Reading and Special Education teacher at Kinloch Park Middle School. I have been teaching at this school for 12 years. The Intensive Reading class consists of students who scored low levels on assessments and demonstrate limited reading skills such as in the areas of comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and phonics. Included in these classes are also students in the Special Education program. These students range from disabilities in cognitive learning disabilities to emotional difficulties. Our school is considered a “Title 1” school, meaning 93% of the school population qualify for free or reduced lunch. Additionally, we have a large population of students in the ESOL program. In other words, the majority of our students have limited skills in the English language. I began incorporating Interactive Notebooks this past school year. It is a great tool for learning whereas students are able to personalize and make meaning of the information presented in class. It also functions as a powerful study tool, a working portfolio, appeals to the multiple intelligences, encourages pride and ownership of student work, reinforces organizational skills, keeps students engaged, and helps with college and career readiness. Using Interactive Notebooks involves plenty of materials such as colored pencils and markers, scissors, scotch tape, glue, pencils, colored paper and/or construction paper, and of course Composition Notebooks. It is very difficult for students to bring in materials to school. Throughout the school year, students bring less and less materials. It comes to a point where I cannot even lend them pencils because I do not have any more. We, as teachers, receive a limited classroom materials stipend in late October. Sometimes it is not enough. Technology materials such as ink can get expensive. Therefore, in order to have a successful school year for 2016-2017, classroom materials are imperative to learning, creativity, and success!
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