My students come from a variety of backgrounds from a very spread out district. Our district covers a large area, so some students live close to the city while other live further out from the city in a more rural environment. Those that we serve from inside the city limits are primarily from the north side of town with a low socioeconomic status.
Our building is a 5-6 intermediate building to serve the unique needs of those kids that are sort of "trapped in the middle." They are too big for elementary school philosophies but not quite ready for the middle school environment.
At this age, they still love the security of a home classroom group but are ready to start branching out more. They are starting to focus more on trying to develop their own style, study habits, values, and identity. It is such an exciting time for them!
Research shows that choice is a HUGE motivator in student learning. In my class, I like to give students choices whenever I can. After lessons and work time in class or during intervention time, students who have completed the lesson activities are given choices about how they want to continue to grow their brains. I'd like to continue to expand these choices in my classroom with the materials I'm requesting.
In many classrooms, when a student is done with their work or caught up on everything, there are limited choices in how to extend their learning or investigate subjects and skills they are passionate about.
They end up wasting time or becoming off task. The engaging materials I'm requesting will offer more choices for students in my classroom to develop some of the most important skills in today's world: critical thinking, engineering design, spatial reasoning, experimental process, and overall development of sustained mental effort. We need Sphero coding robots, KEVA planks, K'NEX sets and other materials. These materials will be added to a small existing makerspace where students can explore exciting concepts like coding, robotics, engineering, electricity, critical thinking, strategy, and technology.
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