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Mx. Erika from Oakland CA is requesting Other through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Boosting Our Brainpower!

My students need math games and construction materials to build creativity, inventiveness, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

  • $1,158 goal

This project expired on January 30, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Math is about working hard to find solutions, trying it many different ways, and looking at something from a variety of perspectives. With more and more standardized tests, this element of math is getting lost, replaced by the test-prep model of teacher modeling and kids copying.

My students are 5th graders in a very low income neighborhood in urban California.

Our public school serves a mix of Mexican-American and African American families. Five years ago the school was restructured and since then has been improving to finally provide a quality education to these under-served kids. I taught my current group in 4th grade and will now stay with them for 5th grade. They are wonderful, caring, hard working students. They love to dance. They are now beginning to love math too- I think my love is contagious. Last year they soaked up the math standards like a sponge and made huge growth on their state standardized test scores. So this year, they need to go to the next level to become mathematicians who figure things out themselves, not just memorize tricks to get right answers.

My Project

I took my own daughter to a local science museum and saw a room filled with Kapla blocks, the main material requested in this project. I saw kids and adults silently enthralled in building incredible structures with these simple pieces of wood. "My students need to do this!" I thought. This is the kind of thing that really makes people smart. The materials I have requested are the type used in gifted and talented programs. Materials like Kapla Blocks, Legos, and critical thinking games like Set and Mastermind. I want them for my regular old classroom, filled with kids who are gifted and talented in very many ways. I work very closely with the two other teachers at my grade level and so the materials requested would actually serve 60 kids, and would last for years of students to come.

We need our future leaders to be real problem solvers and creative inventors.

With tight school budgets, my school doesn't have the luxury of investing in "enrichment" materials like the ones in this project. But there is no better investment than challenging young people to really think.

Mx. Erika
Grades 3-5
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 60 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Tangrams Classroom Set • Kaplan Early Learning Company $24.90 1 $24.90
Building Boards - 150 Pieces • Kaplan Early Learning Company $21.46 20 $429.20
Set Card Game - Age 6+- - --*Comments* • Teacher's School Supply Inc. $16.64 5 $83.20
Mastermind Game - Age 6 to Adult----*Comments* • Teacher's School Supply Inc. $19.27 3 $57.81
LEGO COMMUNITY BUILDERS SET -- LEGO Sets; Community Builders Set • Quill $125.99 1 $125.99
Lego Large Base Plates 4/PK - Largest 15" X 15"----*Comments* • Teacher's School Supply Inc. $32.85 2 $65.70

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


3 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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