I teach kindergarten in a school that is a Kindergarten-Fifth grade. We have 330 students and we have a 74% economically disadvantaged population. Our school culture consists of 1.4% American Indian, 10.8% Asian, 2.1% African American, 5.2% Latino, 74.9% caucasian, and 5.6% bi-racial. We also have 16.4% of our students with disabilities and 11.1% are English Language Learners.
This year, I am noticing a bigger gap is social interaction.
Kids are really having a hard time playing and talking with their peers. With their limited social interaction the past two years due to COVID, kids need more opportunity to play and be creative.
My kindergarten classroom currently has 13 students (7 girls and 6 boys). I do some teaming with an adjoining classroom (with an additional 15 students). My class is made up of four SPED students, three speech/language students, 1 Hmong/Asian American. Many of my students come from a variety of hardships. Several have special needs that require additional support.
Children learn so much more during play. STEM/STEAM play areas are a great way to get children working together and promote ingenuity and creativity.
With a larger creation station in my classroom, children will be able to tap into their creativity and become collaborative engineers as they create and design many different creations.
Not only will the kids be building teamwork and problem solving skills, they will become more resilient.
Students will also experience real world applications. Curiosity and use of technology will help increase their critical thinking skills. Kids will be able to act out fairy tales or create their own designs with these materials.
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