I have a large class of over 30 active nine to ten year old students. We live in a rural community that has a lot of middle to lower income families. Many of my students have been raised with game systems and technology as a part of their everyday lives. Theses systems are where they spend a lot of their free time since the majority of them come from single parent families, or families where both parents work. Technology has become the go-to daycare. With that in mind my students often have difficulty adjusting to the pace of a classroom. They have trained their minds to multi-task and need an outlet for their excess energy or thought processes.
My students need opportunities to grow and develop important social skills, this is why I am looking for opportunities to help my student engage in problem solving and social activities that can be accomplished simultaneously with learning.
Many of my students lack basic social skills and/or the ability to work with others or in group settings. I try to allow my students the opportunity to learn and develop these skills through S.T.E.A.M. activities, cooperative learning, and even playing team games.
I want to instill in my students the ability to appreciate hard work and the pride that comes from a job well done. I believe that this can be done through the back breaking and lengthy processes involved in rug and basket making. As with any lesson the ability to include hands on projects helps to increase the student engagement and promotes a long term understanding and memory.
I especially want to create a greater understanding of the Navajo culture, its art, and its people by providing opportunities for cooperative learning and teamwork.
The items we create will provide students with the understanding that good things are worth hard work and patience. The completed projects will be displayed for parents as a part of our culminating program at the end of the school year.
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