We are a title 1 school located just outside Charlotte, NC. Approximately 50% of our students live in poverty. We also have a high level of ESL students (English as a Second Language).
Many of my students come from very difficult home lives.
While they all have the desire and are eager to learn based on things outside their control; many find it difficult to stay focused and motivated. This is very true for my students who struggle academically. While I know they have the passion to do well, many of our students feel as though they can never get past the gap of knowledge they face.
We all work so very hard to help our students truly understand the content, while making it fun and memorable. Since many teachers pay for supplies out of their own pocket, trying to make lessons engaging, challenging and enjoyable is a constant puzzle.
The 5th grade team had an amazing opportunity to try these breakout boxes on a field trip recently. These are physical boxes with several locks on them. Students use clues to unlock the locks. The clues are based on concepts they have already learned, or new text/information they are given for the first time. Students learn a variety of skills and subjects with these boxes. In addition to supporting the students' knowledge of concepts, these boxes support their social-emotional development by teaching them teamwork and collaboration. The program provides us with over 500 different lessons ranging from reading, math, science and even social studies. They also include lessons for multiple grade levels so these boxes will be used by the entire school.
Never before have we seen our students so engaged in a learning activity than when they were learning about gravity from one of these boxes.
Not only were the students so excited to learn and get the boxes open but they were working so well together. They loved working together with their team on a challenge.
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