The students I work with range from kindergarten to third grade. They are kind, lively, inquisitive, and very eager to learn. They all have individualized education plans that either require specialized in-class support and accommodations or pull-out resource and related services in either reading, math, writing/fine motor, language/communications, behavior, speech, and/or a combination of multiple supports. Their unique approach to learning is what makes each and everyone of them special.
Although many of them have been dealt with a challenging deck of cards, they still manage to come to school ready to learn and with happy hearts.
Their enthusiasm to learn never ceases to amaze me!
Think back to when you were in school - you may have taken classes such as auto-mechanics, choir, painting or photography. Now, look at the classes offered to children today—many of these hands-on experiences are few and far between. In today's day and age, students are expected to complete handouts and sit through lectures, without ever having the opportunity to apply these skills. The hands-on experience that was once thought of as key to building a well rounded student has now disappeared from the classroom.
The hands-on activities I am requesting for my students will not only help to reinforce their individualized learning goals, but also help them to gain a better understanding of the concept.
Often times, all that is truly needed to understand a basic concept, such as simple addition or subtraction, is to manipulate objects and visualize the process. The use of these materials will allow my students to develop critical thinking skills as well as enhance their abilities to reason in more meaningful ways. Most importantly, it will help them experiment with trial and error and learn from their mistakes.
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