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Ms. Necoechea from Oakland CA is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Breaking the Mold - Vocabulary and Grammar In Our Hands

My students need modeling clay to build vocabulary and summarize the plots of stories.

  • $199 goal

This project expired on February 17, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words does a sculpture would be? Teachers have long used images as a way of familiarizing students with vocabulary. In my classroom, we're going 3-D.

My heritage Spanish speakers arrive thinking of their mother tongue as a home language and leave knowing its tremendous impact the world’s fastest growing language.

From "corridos", the narrative song form of Mexico to the poetry of José Martí, we embrace the extensive reach of Spanish influence and literacy. Formal instruction in their native language increases their confidence, gives them a sense of identity and augments their performance in English. My Spanish 1&2 students arrive thinking that there's no way they are going to be able to speak that language! It's way too fast! It all runs together! But by the end of the year they are teasing each other in Spanish. They are enthusiastic and creative learners and when presented with a project they put the pedal to the metal. Unfortunately, our school has extremely limited funds and exists in a resource poor setting. A whopping 72.5% of our students are on the free & reduced lunch program.

My Project

Modeling clay is a resource that I would like to acquire to do vocabulary building with both groups. Every word can be represented by a concrete shape, even if it’s through analogy. The goal is to get their hands to open the doors to their minds. For example, we will be reading a story that makes frequent mention of the parts of a canoe. Using the clay, we'll model canoes and characters, identify the parts, and then refer back to the models during the story. At the end, students will be able to use the models to retell the story. This process will also help students to interpret plot whether the story is a complex piece of literature or a simple narrative, so it will be useful in all three levels.

One of the ideas that I'm consistently trying to impress upon my students is that they should be creative participants in the learning experience.

In our assessment-driven educational system where arts and music programs are losing funding, creativity is also lost. So in the creative act of interpreting meaning, students sometimes get caught flat-footed. My goal is to help students deeply connect to language by visualizing meaning in a profoundly constructive way.

Ms. Necoechea
Grades 9-12
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 120 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
MODELING CLAY 4 PCS. RD/YW/BL/GR----*Comments* • Teacher's School Supply Inc. $3.66 30 $109.80

Materials cost


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Total project cost


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Total project goal


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Total project goal


2 Donors


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Project Activity

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