I teach Math to approximately 110 6th grade students in a STEM middle school. Being 6th graders, my students are adjusting to more academic and social pressure with no recess and limited time outside of the building. It is truly a transitional year of learning while becoming teenagers.
My students come from a variety of backgrounds due to the vast differences in our feeder elementary schools.
Two of the elementary schools have Title I status due to serving low-income families. One elementary school is in a rural setting with several small farms, and the other is a STEM elementary school serving middle-class families. This creates large gaps in achievement and social levels.
Despite this, the students come together to work hard, and motivate each other. You can find them in their comfortable social groups at the beginning of the school year. By winter break, it is difficult to tell which students came from which feeder school. They are the most accepting group of children I've worked with.
While it has been proven that movement and verbal communication promote learning, most middle school math classrooms aren't set up to encourage it. Furthermore, many middle school-aged children are reluctant to stand and speak before their peers. In my classroom, there are several children who thrive on sharing, while others would prefer to remain silent and invisible. This limits our math investigations to only the ideas of those brave enough to share. It also limits the learning of reluctant sharers, as it does not offer them an opportunity to grow through being an active participant in math discussions.
The Qball will encourage soft-spoken, reluctant students to stand and share their ideas with peers in a fun way.
No more silencing everyone so we can hear the great ideas of students who would prefer to remain silent. With the Qball and speaker, everyone will be able to hear and share while still fidgeting in their spaces with the widget seats!
Previously, my classroom received two widget seats and I am asking for more after witnessing the benefits. Students love to sit on them and achieve quiet movement during seat work. They also cannot easily lean back dangerously in their chairs while using the widget seats. Two just isn't enough, so I am asking for three more to reach more students. Thank you for supporting my students!
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