I teach a kindergarten classroom in a low-income Chicago Public School in the Edgewater area. In my classroom, you will find 30 inspiring ESL students with fascinating backgrounds and various skills. My students are brilliant, courageous, and loving children with a passion for knowledge.
There is a beautiful sense of community my students display in our classroom.
Even at such a young age, they work to respectfully communicate and support each other; they consistently acknowledge and celebrate their differences. My students are hard-working and selfless individuals. They are always kind and eager to help everyone in the building. My students are quick to applaud one another on their successes in the classroom, and offer words of encouragement during challenging moments of learning.
They are wonderful little humans, fabulous learners, and amazing teachers, and they deserve the best learning materials and opportunities that can be provided to them!
All of my students will be starting Kindergarten with a different set of skills and background knowledge. For some students, it will be their first exposure to a school setting. Whether or not some of my students have attended pre-school, they will all have one thing in common: the first day (or month) jitters. These basic "back to school" materials will help them get to know their friends and the classroom routines, which is crucial to building a comfortable environment in kindergarten.
I want my students to feel comfortable within the space they will spend most of their time learning.
To do this, we need materials, such as name tags, nameplates, birthday crowns, and other various learning materials that will help them grow throughout the year. The academic component is of course prioritized in Kindergarten, but the social component is just as important! My students need to familiarize themselves with their classmates and feel as though the classroom is a second home to them. They should feel comfortable enough to make friends, learn names and birthdates, and feel a sense of belonging in our classroom.
These materials will help my students become situated in their new setting. Name tags will help them learn their peers' names, navigate to their assigned seat with ease, and will help me familiarize myself with my students as well. The name tags will serve the same purpose for the faculty in the building, as well as with any professionals we interact with on future field trips. Birthday crowns will help us celebrate one another and will help make my students feel proud and special throughout the year. When my students transition to the cafeteria, or to essentials class, it will be easier for everyone to call them by name.
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