Albert Einstein said, “I have no special talent; I am only passionately curious.”
I’m not sure I agree with Albert Einstein that he had no special talent, but I think he would agree with me that his passionate curiosity allowed him to “unlock” his talent.
I teach a third grade classroom of beautiful, intelligent children that have largely not been afforded the opportunities and experiences that allow them to unlock their passion or talents. My school is a Title I elementary school with 100% participation in free lunch. My students have generally not traveled outside the state, perhaps not even outside the city. Their homes are not rich with educational materials such as books and puzzles. Their parents seldom have the time or energy to engage them in exploratory play activities. They are seldom asked what they wonder about. They are primarily entertained by watching television and playing video games. These activities do not foster curiosity, exploration or discovery.
My goal is to create a classroom environment that is rich in materials and activities that allows students to wonder, explore, and create, ultimately encouraging students to unlock both their passion and their potential.
We need books and materials that I will use to develop science and social studies units of exploration based on student interest.Imagine a third grade student that has completed her assigned work. She excitedly selects a plastic box labeled “Force and Motion.” It is filled with books, materials and activities about basic physics concepts. She reads the book “Pushes and Pulls.” Then she and another student build a catapult with the “Engino Discovering STEM Newton's Laws Inertia, Momentum, Kinetic & Potential Energy Construction Kit.” The students then pick an activity from the book, “Experiments in Forces and Motion with Toys and Everyday Stuff,” complete the experiment, and write a report explaining their results.
Children that are engaged in directing their own learning gain focus, motivation and perseverance in all aspects of classroom learning.
Their confidence goes through the roof! My goal is to create these learning units covering four exciting topics- human body systems, ancient Egypt, force and motion and magnetism- for students to explore and play with in order to increase engagement, spark curiosity and unleash creativity.
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