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Engaging With Literature: A Video Library, Grades 3-5
Library
Engaging With Literature
Homepage


About This Video Library

Lesson Builder

Hints for Site Leaders
Video Titles:

1. Signposts

2. Voices in the
Conversation

About This Video Clip »
Featured Texts »
Classroom Snapshot
Classroom Lesson Plan »
Professional Reflection »
Teacher Tools »
Additional Resources »

3. Starting Out

4. Responding
to Literature


5. Sharing
the Text


6. Building Community

7. Book Buddies

8. Finding
Common Ground


9. Discussion
Strategies
Site Map

2. Voices in the Conversation

Classroom Snapshot

School: Pleasant Hill Elementary School
Location: Austin, Texas
No. of Students in School: 519
Teacher: Katherine Bomer
No. of Years Teaching: 7
Grade: 5
Subject: Language Arts
No. of Students in the Classroom: 19

Pleasant Hills Elementary School is located on the original site of the Union School which was built in 1858 of red cedar brought from Bastrop County. The current buildings are the fourth iteration of the school, and opened in January of 1986. Today, Pleasant Hill Elementary finds itself on the corner of two major thoroughfares in South Austin, surrounded by car dealerships, fast food joints, warehouse business parks, and strip malls. Pleasant Hills is a bilingual (Spanish and English) school, offering at least one bilingual class per grade level with 73% of its students Hispanic and 8% African American. Coming from the adjoining trailer parks and low-income sub-divisions, over 77% of the student body receive free and reduced-price lunch, and over 22% are special needs and special education students.

Although the community population is stable — some Pleasant Hills teachers have taught two and three generations of youngsters from the same family — the school has been unable to have a PTO for years because the families simply do not have the time or money to contribute. Many families work two or three jobs, and a number of children are in school from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m., often going to the homes of grandparents or aunts and uncles after that. In spite of busy schedules and complex arrangements, the Pleasant Hills families care deeply about their children's success in school and their children are strong, sensitive, and thoughtful participants in the classroom.






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