After a very challenging year last year that I thought would break me, I have found myself renewed in my classroom. My 11 little students have changed my outlook on teaching, and made me come alive again! I look forward to each day to see what challenges they present to me and the smiles they greet me with.
I teach in a Title l school in Brooklyn, New York, where the neighborhood is quickly changing and our local schools are rapidly losing students to newly developed charter schools, or families being forced out of the neighborhood with increased rents and loss of affordable housing.
Our population is Hispanic: 94% with English Language Learners: 19% and student with special needs: 18% and 100% receive free lunch.
In years past the blocks area has always been the greatest center for the children to play and the hardest to get them out of. This year I find that my children do not stay there for long. These new blocks will help bring them together and build their creative thinking. The new vehicles will help them think that blocks are not just for building roads for cars and the trees will let them build things that are not just houses/castles. Their favorite building activity is our small set of magnet builders. They are always fighting over them and can not build anything of great size or share easily. This new set with new shapes will help them share and build things outside the box house idea. The new legos kit will guide them to use the random ones we have to build objects not just tall structures.
Keeping up with my nonverbal students this year has been a very difficult challenge.
They are very sensory driven, but not always very neat. We need smocks for our sand and water tables to keep them dry and clean. The sand abc and numbers will help them build their fine motor skills and feel things. My students love to dance and make sounds but not with their mouths. I am looking to bring in some egg shakers into their physical activities to blend music and gym together. I am hopping that with the use of puppets I can get them to talk through the puppet. If they can hide behind the puppet theater they might feel safer to speak if we don't see them.
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