Want a glimpse into classrooms across the nation? Curious what teachers need most? Looking for project ideas? Look no further. We’re counting down the top five classroom resources requested on DonorsChoose.org this month.
5. Bouncy bands
Teachers tell us these flexible footrests help kids stay focused at their desks. Texas teacher Mrs. Hawk posted a project for a class set and quickly noticed the positive effects on her students.
“The Bouncy Bands have been a hit since day one,” she says. “The students are still raving about how much they love the sit in their chairs and use the bands. Aside from the excitement from the students, I have personally noticed a huge difference in their ability to sit for periods of time in class.”
4. Wobble chairs
Looks like flexible seating is here to stay! This year, we’ve seen a huge uptick in projects that give students different seating options in class. Wobble stools are one alternative to the classic desk-and-chair arrangement.
Why is flexible seating so important? Check out Mrs. Covington’s project. Her essay takes a unique approach to explain best practices (and posture) to donors.
Old standbys are old standbys for a reason. Notebooks are a top item on our site because they can be used for just about anything. However, notebook type varies depending on subject area and grade level.
Elementary teachers tend to favor wide-ruled composition books in assorted colors (as Ms. Brinn did in her writing project), while high-school and some middle-school teachers go with multi-subject college ruled books, as Ms. M did for her science notebooks.
Art teachers, as you might imagine, often favor drawing pads. Ms. Bedolla received 125 of them so her students could sketch at home!
When it comes to books, R.J. Palacio’s instant classic Wonder is still the top choice on our site, especially for upper-elementary and middle-school teachers. No doubt its popularity as a whole-class read has something to do with it. Mrs. Siler used her copies to teach respect and perseverance while Mrs. Donohue’s focused on reading comprehension.
The broad appeal of Wonder is perhaps best explained by Mrs. West in her project essay: “This book not only teaches tolerance, acceptance, friendship, kindness, and courage, but is also rich in vocabulary and figurative language.”
1. Scholastic News subscriptions
…And Scholastic News has it by a mile. Teachers from pre-k through high school are using Scholastic news to enrich their students’ experiences at school.
Projects for these subscriptions are notable for their sheer variety. Check out Ms. Bowzer’s critical reading and current events project and Ms. Makely’s project for take-home reading materials for just a couple of the many terrific examples.