Teaching in a high-needs, Title One school, my students are often faced with challenges outside of the classroom. They are often unable to access technology outside of school hours for various reasons, including both socio-economic status and stressful family situations.
My goal is to do my part in closing the achievement gap within my own district by providing students with opportunities to be fully exposed to and excited about all of their academic content.
I also aim to help them see the relevance to them!
Most of my students qualify for free or reduced price lunch due to their families' socioeconomic status. This means their stresses outside of the classroom are regarding more basic needs. This puts them at a disadvantage in their early lives, to their peers competing for college admissions and eventually, jobs down the road.
I think exposing my students to extra opportunities to focus on academic topics outside of the classroom (or content specific times) will help to even the playing field. Although they can't necessarily find these moments on their own, I hope to provide them within our school community!
They are hardworking, motivated and engaged in any content I present to them!
I want my students to feel like our classroom is not just a place to be but THE place to be! For the next school year we will dive deeper into where we are in the world which is surrounded by woodsy areas and awesome ecosystems!
We'll be tying in forest themes to all of our curriculum, including our social studies, science, our writing, and even our math!
I can't wait to take my students to a place they may have never been as we talk about what's all over the world and what's just around the corner.
By having the wallpaper decor physically make us feel like we are in a different place, my students will be more engaged in their learning. In having maps, mirrors and thematic elements on our bare walls students will be more attached to their environment and be excited to be in our classroom.
With a Native focus tied into all of learning, we'll have great opportunities to talk about how these habitats have changed for humans and other creatures. Students will be able to really feel like they are in the places we read about, instead of just trying to imagine it.
Overall, it will also make students feel so special to be able to be in the rain forest classroom! This positive demeanor about our learning space will increase engagement as students feel pride in being where they are, and may have positive impact on attendance as well because students will be excited to get to our classroom.
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