My students are energetic and full of life! They have an inherent desire to build and create; and in a world that seems always to be tearing down, I want to encourage that desire to build! Most of my students come from low-income families. They have seen poverty and neglect and abuse. They have very few toys and/or manipulatives in this struggling school, and they have even fewer at home!
I have students who care for each other so tenderly!
We have to take turns with any of the "special" toys or activities. Just today I had a couple students absent, and when we went to centers a student came up with a concern. "Mrs. Block, Denver isn't here today and she's going to miss her turn in Research Center. I know she was looking forward to it; will you make sure she still gets to do it when she's back?" I love that in this "me! me! me!" society my little friends are watching out for the happiness of others!
I want to provide as many different building/creating toys as possible; it is through those that my students will develop their curiosity and problem-solving skills! The construction sets I've introduced so far have really helped them learn to cooperate as they work together on a joint structure. I see such growth from them as they play, but I have only enough for about a quarter of my students to build at a time. I'd love to allow them all the same opportunity.
Building and creating is so much harder than tearing down and destroying, so we must make building as accessible as possible.
I'm trying to mold these students into thoughtful problem-solvers, and these tools (not toys!) as just what we need.
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