Just say no to worksheets! I want my students to be able to practice new concepts in fun, interesting, and entertaining ways. No boring seatwork for us, please!
I teach a class of 22 first graders in a Title I school in an urban setting in Virginia.
My class is a special education collaboration class so a little more than one third of my class receives special education services for learning, emotional, and cognitive issues.
Students in our school face many challenges, chief among them - poverty. Many of my students know firsthand the pain of hunger, fear, loss, and chaos.
They are raised in families with two parents, step parents, single parents, incarcerated parents, and grandparents. They go home to houses, apartments, and sometimes motel rooms, to families of of 2 to 12. Often several families live in a space meant for one family so they do not become homeless. School is often the only safe and structured place they can go.
Even with so many challenges, the students still come to school each day with a smile, eager to have a great day!
All of my students need to experience activities on their own instructional level. Activities and materials must be multilevel, well organized and displayed, as well as inviting and engaging. That's a tall order, but with a little time and creativity, I can create specific activities to meet individual student needs on many levels right on my computer! I can make them colorful and inviting to capture the students' attention and keep them engaged.
Cardstock and lamination make the materials durable so they can be used again and again. A sturdy set of shelving with bins will allow students to quickly and easily access activities while helping to keep our materials safe and sound.
Children learn best when they are interested and engaged in the process.
They do not want to sit around memorizing a bunch of math facts, but they do want to play! I can ensure that my students are learning and having fun by presenting their learning around themes. I can provide activities to reinforce learning that seem like fun and games to the kids! A win-win situation!
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