I love my students. Even the ones that drive me insane. We have our good days and our difficult days. Even on the hard days they manage, somehow, to smile and carry on. As with any teacher you meet, all I want for my students is for them to be happy and successful. Unfortunately, our community is at or below the poverty line, so my students don't always get the opportunities that other students get. I'd like to get help evening the playing field.
My students are loud and vivacious.
Some are incredible learners. In fact many of the most raucous students are my best learners. Their self-motivation moves them to work ahead and learn things that are above and beyond.
But they are not all successful. Many of my students struggle, especially with reading. To meet our students where they are, we try different activities and projects to make reading more accessible and more exciting. My goal in participating in a Donors Choose fundraiser is simply to give them the opportunity to succeed.
Every year during the fourth quarter of 5th grade we do a Social Studies Chautauqua project. The students spend weeks researching a famous person from American history. They then create a presentation and even dress up as their famous person.
Once their historical biography project is completed, students set up outside the classroom (Imagine 100 5th graders spreading out throughout the school) in costume and in character, and we invite other classrooms and members of our local community to come see their presentations.
The 5th graders make these presentations in costume and in the first person, speaking as if they are their historical figure. They may give their presentation dozens of times over the course of the afternoon.
It is a carnival-like atmosphere with students from other grade levels and adults from the community milling about, and 5th graders calling out (in character) all vying for their attention so they will come hear their speech and presentation. It is amazing to watch and participate in.
Unfortunately, our students need more resources. An in-class library of biographies from American history would be a huge help during their weeks of research!
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