I teach in a large, rural elementary school comprised of a very diverse range of learners. We have a large military population, which brings us children from all around the country, many of whom have spent years of their lives overseas. We have a large population of students whose families have immigrated to America from Mexico, Guatamala, Sweden, Kenya, China, Haiti, and Iraq. These students bring other languages and cultural traditions into our small community. Like the sprinkles in a "funfetti" cake, these children are mixed and blended with our local children, many of whom have never left the county, not even to see the nearby beaches or mountains. To say we have a wide-range of experiences, needs, abilities, and interests to serve each day is clearly an understatement.
However, no matter where they come from or where they may be headed, each and every one of our children carries a spark within them we strive to ignite.
This curiosity, if tended, will turn into an eternal flame, a love of learning, of self-growth and improvement, a never-ceasing desire to better themselves and the world around them. Every one of them is brimming with potential, just waiting to be tapped.
Legos are one of the most flexible resources available. Students can use them with their imaginations to build anything they can dream up. They also enjoy the challenge of task cards. I can read them a story and send them to build something in relation to it. It is still an open-ended project, but with a specific goal in mind.
Many children learn best by exploring and building to create meaning.
Using the Simple Machine kits, children can explore their science standards by creating and using simple machines like pulleys, wheels and axles, or by making gears turn. Making their learning come to life makes it more meaningful and easier to understand.
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