I teach in a low socioeconomic Title I school. My second graders walk into our classroom every day full of life, ready to learn, and excited for what is in store for them that day. I want them to know I believe in them and that they can do anything. My kiddos want to be in school because they know we have fun while learning! They know that I am their #1 cheerleader!!
All of our students receive free breakfast and lunch.
In my class, I have eager learners from all different backgrounds. I have military students, students well above grade level, several students with IEPs, and others with intervention plans due to working below grade level. In my class, my kiddos range from those on a Kindergarten to a 3rd grade reading level as well as math level. They need lots of daily experiences with hands-on materials that will help stimulate their creative thinking and reasoning skills. It makes it challenging to find activities to reach each child where they are academically. We work in small groups and in centers that provide individualized instruction at each level. My 2nd graders work hard to be their best!
Roger Lewin is credited with saying, "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve". I want to offer my students "STEM Bins" as soon as they arrive in the mornings to challenge their critical thinking skills. The STEM Bins will take the place of traditional morning work which will offer my students a challenge each day to solve problems using their critical thinking skills. This simple change of routine will engage them in more meaningful ways each and every day!
Meaningful work should be hands-on, engaging, and open ended because children have a natural drive to play, explore, and engineer whenever possible.
Each day, my eager learners will arrive ready to interact with a "creative" bin of their choice! Legos, Lincoln Logs, Play Stix, Magnetic Blocks, and other "hands-on" materials will be in the bins to give my "babies" an opportunity to be creative thinkers and invent many things over and over using the same supplies! The sky is the limit with creativity! Instead of just being “busy”, my kiddos will be engaged in creative, complex tasks that will encourage them to think like inventors. These creativity bins will also challenge students to work together as a team to foster relationships with other students that they might not normally interact with. The bins will also provide practice on how to interact with each other especially in informal, social situations. Please help my class think outside the box or might I say "think outside the bin"!
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