I teach first grade in Flint, Michigan. Many have heard of our water crisis and struggling families. But behind the doors at the our school, we create a world where students can be scholars regardless of their home lives or born circumstances. In the heart of my classroom are twenty-four energetic and curious six and seven-year-olds.
They have a love for life even though many have seen difficult times and been in adult situations.
My classroom is where they learn manners, problem solving skills, and how to take responsibility for their actions. My students deserve to have a space where they can learn from each other, build relationships, and create a space of trust and companionship. This dynamic is possible when students have a common space outside of their desk to bring everyone together.
It's an experience to have these dynamic kiddos come into my room for a year and I want to provide them with the best atmosphere possible beyond the pencils and notebooks. I want them to be able to have opportunities and memories that last a life time and help them succeed in following classrooms and beyond the New Standard.
My active first graders need a space other than their desks to do their learning. It’s invaluable for these kids to learn the skills of coming together to share ideas and practice listening to one another. Imagine asking twenty-four, six and seven-year-old kids to join you on the cold, concrete floor all while trying to keep their attention and excitement! As you can envision there are more groans than squeals. There is a solution to this problem, and I’m asking you for help!
The circle time carpet will be a space for students to come together with their peers and concentrate on what’s important; the lesson and what their classmates have to share.
The carpet will also be used for students who may need space to do quiet learning, and be a base for a small group center. The easel will be a focus point during whole group learning for students who are visual learners. Students need the opportunity to have a magnetic surface to manipulate letters, numbers, and words; a skill all students need but a space we do not currently have. First grade is also when students learn to write with better fine motor skills and having an easel with writing lines will give students a better visual of how to perfect their writing and become stronger readers.
It’s as simple as my students need a space to come together. It will help them be better scholars, listeners, and sharers. The kids in my classroom shouldn’t have to worry about being uncomfortable and not having the tools they need to succeed. Let’s start the 2018 school year on our best foot forward and let my newest group of first graders walk in and get excited about seeing a place where they get to learn, laugh, and make friends!
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