Our school is home to a community of diverse learners coming from many different backgrounds and life experiences. We are a Responsive School, which values students' emotional and social development alongside academics. This means creating an environment in which students feel free to explore, take risks, and make mistakes, without fear or judgement. Our school supports the full inclusion model for students receiving special education services. This ensures that all students are a part of a classroom community. We also have a high percentage of students whose first language is not English. My fifth grade students are thoughtful, inquisitive and enthusiastic scholars who learn best through hands on activities and peer discussions.
In our classroom, the rug provides a central location for our class community to come together and learn more about one another, have discussions, solve problems and grapple with big questions and ideas. It has become a central location in our classroom where the majority of our collective learning happens.
While this year marks a time of rapid social/emotional and intellectual growth, it is also a time when many students shoot up several inches!
Although the rug has become one of the most important features in our classroom, we have begun to outgrow the space. With your help, I am hoping for a rug where students will be able to sit comfortably through engaging mini-lessons, thought provoking literary discussions, and other hands on learning activities.
In addition to a larger rug, I am also seeking help to provide flexible seating in my classroom. I have seen the benefits of utilizing a variety of seating alternatives in other classrooms. Students who tend to have a harder time sitting still, or focusing during class, have a higher rate of attention and participation when given the ability to wiggle a little while they work! My goal is to slowly roll out flexible seating options, beginning with the purchase of balance balls and balance discs. These types of seating options keep students physically and mentally engaged in order to help them produce their best work.
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