Help me give my students materials to equip their Innovation Lab with materials they can use to collaborate with classmates, store materials, and provide students with beverages to fuel them during longer than traditional school days
At our school, students take dual-credit college courses when they demonstrate the academic skills and habits of mind needed to be successful. The students in my class are not ready yet because they struggle with coming to school (missing an average of 2 days/week), have failed multiple classes in the past/are credit deficient, and some have been involved with the juvenile justice system in the past.
As a result, students in this class are students who are not yet reading & writing at the level needed for college-level English classes and/or who have not yet demonstrated personal accountability, grit, or work habits needed to be successful in college.
With past classes, not going to college classes has felt like a punishment and led to pervasive disengagement by those already below grade level and at risk. I asked students for input on how I could increase their engagement & they asked for a voice in how they will develop the necessary skills, including independent research, critical thinking, teamwork, college-level reading, & argumentative writing.
TRMC was recently awarded a prize from DonorsChoose.org and The Dalio Foundation. I am excited to use some of this money to augment the Innovation Lab, our school’s student academic center with supplies and materials necessary for learning and creativity, and will allow students to feel comfortable and safe. At TRMC, our students take high school and college courses for high school and college credit. Considered full members of the college community, our students must often take college courses that meet outside of the traditional school day, often as late as 9:30 pm. For many of our students, this means that they are on campus from 7:30 to 9:30.
Working with the students, we now have an Innovation Lab (IL) that they have access to during the school day.
This provides students with a designated place to study, collaborate, as well as eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To complete the Innovation Lab, students have requested file cabinets that will be organized to give each student a designated storage space in the IL, disposable cups and lids to allow students to brew a cup of tea or coffee to fuel their long days, a map and pins that allow students to represent where they come from around the United States and the world, a refrigerator that would allow students to create a Snack Fridge of milk, lunch meat , fruit, and vegetables that the students are donating to share with classmates. The project also requests surge protectors to provide more outlets for students to charge their laptops and other devices.
Our hope is to always make students feel safe and comfortable while learning, to meet their needs and interests, and to encourage them to remain at school for their classes.
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