I am a fourth-grade teacher in an urban school. Despite many challenges, my students come to school each day eager to learn how to learn and drive their own learning.
My students love school because they experience thrilling and motivating educational experiences that simultaneously improve their math, writing, reading, science and social studies skills.
This often takes monetary funding I am not given by my state or school district. Unforgettable learning experiences in fourth grade help my students retain learning in their long-term memories.
I am enthralled by brain research and its implications for prime learning. While some things, like more activity, are free and easy for me to implement, there are other powerful luxuries that I cannot buy with my teacher budget or my own funds.
Brain research shows that brains learn better when they are well-hydrated.
However, you would be amazed how much class time can be eaten away when a class of 25 needs a lot of water. Right now, I buy the students disposable, little water bottles at the grocery store once a month. There are a few problems. Even though the students rinse them out and let them evaporate over weekends, who knows what could be growing after a month? Second, I feel terrible when we throw away 25 plastic bottles nine times during the school year. It would be amazing to have sturdy, dish-washable water bottles that could be dish-washer sterilized and reused all year.
Another brain-friendly tool that is a luxury are colored pens for taking memorable notes. The brain can recall information from notes better when they are taken in purposeful, different colors. A 12-pack would be at each table, giving all students in our learning community easy access. And the best part? They are erasable and allow for legible, accurate notes!
I love providing my urban students with supplies that make them feel important and deserving of the best. I can manage to buy them high-quality pencils, flow-y black pens for Writer's Workshop, and basic supplies to help them stay organized. But, the water bottles and erasable pen supplies would be the cherry on top!
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