My students come from a rapidly changing and diverse neighborhood in Chicago. We have seen growth in our student population in the past few years, meaning we have many new classrooms (like mine!) requiring materials to accommodate the influx of students.
We support a fully inclusive environment for our students, meaning that there is an extremely diverse set of learning & social needs in any given room.
This is one of the things that makes the learning experience for our students so valuable, and it also means we need to be on our toes to ensure that we are best serving all of those needs. The community surrounding our school is incredibly supportive of our students creativity and potential, and as teachers in such a community it is our job to make sure we have access to materials and innovative teaching to provide them with a stellar education.
Our old classroom rug was well loved and and VERY well used, so much so you could say the students "loved it to pieces!" This beautiful new rug will provide a routine meeting place that is integral to learning in my classroom. Academically, the rug will provide students with a comfortable spot to engage closely in math talks, story times, small groups, and project learning. Just as important, this rug is central to our daily circle meetings that build a strong sense of community & belonging for my students. Circle meetings are used daily to help students to build trust, confidence, and give students a voice in democratically managing conflict and learning the classroom.
Based in restorative teaching and justice practices, a year long study in communication, problem-solving, teamwork, project planning, and conflict resolution helps our 4th graders become more confident, independent, and actively engaged learners; this rug will give us a home for this important work!
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