My students need 10 rock collection sets. They need to identify its mineral makeup, formation and its likely future. But we need rock samples to analyze in class.
This project expired on April 16, 2011.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
When I asked my kids to bring in a rock for homework--they came in with a chunk of broken sidewalk(not hard to find in the Bronx). They can't recognize the rocks surrounding them in parks, buildings or statues. In preparing them for NYS Earth Science Regents we are at a 'natural' disadvantage.
My students are the hardworking kids in an Academy in New York.
They hail from hardworking families in the South Bronx, one of the most under-resourced areas in the United States. Their day begins at 7:20 am and ends at 5 pm every school day and they expect to get on average 2 hours of homework a night from their academic classes.
Many come from schools that did not emphasize science or were not taught it at all. Nevertheless, we prepare our students throughout 5th and 7th grade to be ready to take a high school level science class, the NYS Earth Science Regents Exam, in 8th grade. Each of the last 2 years we have passed a higher percent of students in Earth Science than most public high schools in New York City. In analyzing our successes I couldn't help but notice our kids struggled inordinately with rock identification--in no small part because of our relatively meager rock collections. I resolved this year to better prepare these kids through more 'rock time,.
Interestingly, more rocks means I can teach kids in a wider variety of ways. Currently I have one sample of rock and we pass it around the room and kids take notes on its characteristics in a hurried manner. With a rock set for each table I can create all manner of groupings to facilitate a greater spectrum of experiences with the materials. For example,I can have a metamorphic rock station for individual students, I can create a webquest where students independently analyze samples online and before them, or I could create exciting team challenges that involve them matching rock samples or playing one of these rocks is not like the others.
In short, this is not simply a request for more rocks, but an attempt to bring better and more refined instruction to each student we serve at KIPP Academy
There are 3 reasons to fund this project:
1) These kids will know rocks so much better and feel so much more confident about their rock knowledge and they'll be able to sail through the Earth Science Regents Exam.
2) It will improve the learning experience in my classroom--by improving the activities for teaching the rock unit--the kids learn a difficult unit better, deeper and happier.(and happiness matters!)
3) You will help me keep my promise to make these kids better prepared this year.
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