My students are part of a very large, diverse elementary school; we are nearing 900 students and still growing rapidly, especially with the recent movement of families due to hurricane damage. We are a semi-rural county and the majority of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. At the same time, our community also is home to several golf course and beach neighborhoods. While my school and county are very supportive of the arts, there will always be a need for additional supplies due to the nature of art: almost everything is consumable and needs to be replaced every year.
With all the pressure for academic success through testing, my students love that the art room is a place to learn through play and the creative process.
We work hard every day to internalize that we are all individuals with different strengths, but that learning through mistakes is the best way to learn. When I hear my students sharing ideas and explaining that their differences are what make their artwork special, I know that we are making exactly the right progress.
The addition of K'NEX building sets to my classroom will allow us to incorporate more STEM based art projects. By having enough sets to share at tables, my students can work in collaborative teams to construct sculptures, buildings, or other ideas based on our art concepts. By choosing sets that have basic pieces without a specific theme, students are challenged to generate their own ideas instead of using a template.
K'NEX sets are very user-friendly for kids of all ages, and promote a healthy interest in building and experimentation that builds curiosity and critical thinking skills.
When we aren't using the sets for class-wide projects, we can use them at early finisher stations with shorter building prompts.
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