Twenty children from diverse backgrounds line up expectantly at the door of our fourth grade classroom. Their anticipation grows, as the door opens and they are welcomed in. They come to school to learn, grow, and to feel like they belong. We are not just a classroom community, but a family. We laugh together, cry together, and share together. We are better because we are together.
I teach in a charter school that meets in a converted office building nestled in an industrial park setting.
Our students must carpool or walk, as we do not have access to buses. Our students find it worth the trouble though, because of our culture and the opportunities to learn and grow.
Learning through books is only one aspect of learning. Being able to apply what they have read, students will have the chance of making their own discoveries, thus making the knowledge their own. This is the best way to retain what has been taught/learned.
Hands on learning makes science real and exciting!
My students will be able to create waves using Slinkys and prisms, learn about structure and function by observing fish and plants cohabitating, along with reading about wolves and dinosaurs, critically analyze the possibility of unproven animals by reading "Sasquatch", demonstrate energies using ping pong paddles and Newton's cradles, and apply knowledge by creating their own experiments. Through this learning, my students will be able to critically think and learn from their mistakes, making them life-long learners. Using these items, more students will be able to participate at a time. Having more than one of each item will allow time to clean in-between each child using it.
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