I teach at a Title I campus with a long list of challenges and blessings. Our campus usually fluctuates between 90-95% of our students being considered economically disadvantaged. Our student body is made up of many cultures with a large number of our students being refugees and immigrants from places like Burma, Africa, Iran, and Cuba. The staff and students at my school are some of the most determined, hard-working, and resilient people I've ever known! They overcome the obstacles of cultural differences, language barriers, and poverty everyday.
Although we are a large and diverse group, one thing we all have in common is that we all believe in the life-changing power of a good education!
"Tell me, and I forget, Teach me, and I remember, Involve me, and I learn." Although this quote is decades old, it has not lost any relevance or truth today. Studies show that students of all ages learn best when they are engaged in self-directed activities that pique their interest. And though we're used to thinking of research in terms of middle school, high school, or college, the new learning standards have been aligned to engage students in elementary school in research throughout the year in hopes that we will be able to teach them HOW to think rather than WHAT to think. This is why my students need Chromebooks to aid them in their quest for discovery! Every 2nd grade student has an "Inquiry Journal" in which they're encouraged to jot down questions they have at any time. I'd love to have more technology in the classroom for them to access information to seek answer to those questions, and engage their brains in some authentic, real-world, 21st century learning!
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