We aim to design high-interest curriculum that engages and inspires our students and creates a positive classroom and school community, all while improving their English and academic skills. My school is an urban, public middle school in California. Along with a diverse middle school population, we also have a specialized program to meet the needs of recently arrived immigrant and refugee students. The majority of our students left their home country to find safety, seeking refuge from war or gang violence. Our newcomer program serves students from around the world. We have recently added a 9th grade year to serve as a bridge between middle and high school for our newcomer students.
Our students become active participants in our community while learning in small groups through hands-on activities, interdisciplinary projects, and collaboration.
My classroom has a little courtyard that is secluded to the rest of the school. There are some flowers, a picnic table and a bunch or random unusable furniture. I see this space and always imagine a beautiful and lively reading area. My students read for 30 minutes every day and I am always trying to find new ways to make reading fun for them. In order to turn this space into a productive and usable space, I need help to clean the area, and then get outdoor furniture that will give my students a place to sit while they read. I am currently getting help to clean the area and have tossed all the old desks away. My next step is to get some nice benches that will give my students a comfortable place to sit.
Everyday that I see this space, I see so much potential in TRANSFORMING it into a SAFE space that will ENCOURAGE my students to READ.
Outdoor classroom settings provide students with positive experiences in comparison to the traditional classroom setting. Research has shown that teaching in the outdoors has the ability to highlight things like increased retention, understanding, and motivation. Everyone learns in different ways and having options is valuable in education. Fresh air, sunshine, and a good book will awaken students minds and help them to succeed as readers.
Thank you so much for supporting my student’s education!
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