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Mr. Birnbaum’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Orville Wright Engineering and Design Magnet
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • More than half of students from low‑income households

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My students live in a struggling community, but they are motivated and able to make connections between ancient history and their modern world. Most of them are English language learners, and they struggle with accessing the information in the textbook. As a result, they really need activities and experiences that can help them build a network of understanding. In particular, they need realia, or real life artifacts. Using art and clay helps students to construct meaning for themselves, by building their own realia. My students are also 6th graders. At this age, they are transitioning from the concrete world to more abstract thinking. Because of this, they need hands-on activities to build this higher level thinking. For example, after they have practiced cuneiform on clay tablets, they have a more enriched understanding how language develops, and that will last for years. And, they have fun!

About my class

My students live in a struggling community, but they are motivated and able to make connections between ancient history and their modern world. Most of them are English language learners, and they struggle with accessing the information in the textbook. As a result, they really need activities and experiences that can help them build a network of understanding. In particular, they need realia, or real life artifacts. Using art and clay helps students to construct meaning for themselves, by building their own realia. My students are also 6th graders. At this age, they are transitioning from the concrete world to more abstract thinking. Because of this, they need hands-on activities to build this higher level thinking. For example, after they have practiced cuneiform on clay tablets, they have a more enriched understanding how language develops, and that will last for years. And, they have fun!

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About my class

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