The cost of supplies for this proposal is $294, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
In October, I spent three weeks in Japan as part of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Teacher Program. It was the most amazing experience of my life! When I observed schools in Japan, one of the things that impressed me most was how older students held so much responsibility and leadership within the elementary school. Students of all ages and grade levels worked together – they walked to school together in groups, they played games together on the playground, and they cleaned the school together every afternoon. In each case, the oldest student, typically a sixth grader, was responsible for the group. It was evident that the students respected each other and were used to functioning as a team. I thought a lot about this idea of multi-age students working and playing together. It seems to accomplish several things: first, it teaches the older students responsibility and leadership; second, it provides younger students with “mentors” and role models; and third, “clique-iness,” “showing off,” and bullying, which undermine any team's effectiveness, are minimized because students are grouped together with children of various ages.
I love this idea of multi-age students working together to accomplish tasks! I think that providing opportunities for older students and younger students to work together would have many positive results not only on the students directly involved but also on the school as a whole. Inspired by the teamwork I saw involving Japanese children playing, cleaning, and walking together, I am interested in seeing what happens when older students and younger students are actively learning together in a classroom. I had been planning to teach my eighth graders a 10 week unit on Japan, but in the spirit of Japan's educational mantra, to inspire a “zest for life” within its students, I have decided that my 8th grade students should assume the role of "teachers" and teach younger students about Japan, its culture, and how it compares to the United States. My students will work in teams to assist in creating fun and exciting lessons that they will then teach to a second, third, and fourth grade classroom at Libby. I have developed a creative, interactive curriculum that focuses on Japanese geography, language, food, dance, recreation, poetry, art, literature, and traditions. More than 100 students will participate, and my sincere hope is that these children will learn much more than Japanese culture. I want my 8th graders to engage in meaningful leadership experiences, and I want the younger students to find intelligent, respectful role models and mentors. I believe that these multi-age relationships will result in both academic achievement and a more positive school community.
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