The assignment begins, and students move to their stations. Chad, Equador, Haiti, Ireland, D.R., are among the many Mother Countries represented. They are first generation Americans- little humans. They sit together, working on a project, referencing hot beaches and pepper soup, popular video games, and the challenges of spelling. Then, from a blue chair by the window it begins, flowing around the room in a soft wave: the music. The song keeps them focused on their goal: to work as a crew to get the job done.
From the multitude of cultures making up my fourth grade classroom, we have created a classroom culture tied together with the arts.
Students live and breathe the arts, incorporating the subject into their academic hours. Being unafraid of the creative process, they are at the beginning stages of building a life full of clarity and peace.
Their job with me this year is to learn how to explain the end results of that creative process to our English-speaking neighbors and friends in writing, using standard English spelling and grammatical constructs. Strong skills in Language Arts will shield them and strengthen them as they venture from the classroom into the outside world.
As the fourth grade's year progresses, a situation is arising more frequently: projects which requires as much physically from student as it does intellectually.
For the typical student, writing with a pencil for an extended period of time, sitting in one spot for longer than 20 minutes, and blocking out the normal noises of a classroo of 27 bodies is not difficult.
However, our class is not typical, and we depend on tools like noise blocking head phones, pencil grips, and non-distracting fidgets to keep us focused and energized.
Thank you for helping every student translate their ideas to reality.
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