Middle schoolers are amazing. They're young enough that they're still enthusiastic about everything, and they're old enough to be aware that the choices they make every day will impact them in the future.
A big part of my job as a middle school teacher is building the skills of self-awareness and self-advocacy in each of my students.
I teach them to think about and understand what they need to be successful and how to get the supports they've identified.
Our school has a diverse grouping of students learning English as a new language, students with physical and learning disabilities, and students from every socio-economic background you can imagine. What do all of these kids have in common? Each and every one of them can learn. Each and every one of them can be successful. Each and every one of them is cared for in our school. Each and every one of them is special to me.
People learn math in lots of different ways. Some students like to sit quietly and think on their own. Some students like to work in lively groups that talk about and share their different types of thinking. Some students like the quiet collaboration of one partner. Some students like to start in one grouping then move to another.
We love to give our students the flexibility they need to do their best thinking and work in our math classroom.
We let them make decisions about groupings that make the best sense for them. (Yes, sometimes we need to help guide them in those decisions because no, they don't always make the best choices the first time around.) When students move into different groupings, there's sometimes a lot of furniture moving too. Our big, heavy, sturdy classroom chairs can be cumbersome to move and don't always maximize the use of our space. To improve the situation, we have worked to acquire different, more movable individual seating - like milk crates, inexpensive stools, and excess teacher's chairs on wheels - all of which have their pros and cons. Some are not so comfortable. Some are too heavy. Some (most) are not sturdy enough. One piece of furniture we've acquired that has been quite popular is an adjustable keyboard bench. It's light. It's sturdy. It's comfortable. And - bonus! - it fits into small spaces to maximize the limited size of our classroom for moving students around. Unfortunately, we have only one of these keyboard benches and it is a hot commodity in our classroom.
We'd like to add a few more of these keyboard benches to our collection (so we can use milk crates for storage instead of seating and toss the wobbly cheap stools). It would be a major improvement.
|Greenpro Adjustable X Style Cushion Padded Piano Keyboard Bench- Black. • Amazon Business||$27.23||4||$108.92|
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