My students need hands-on science, engineering and math manipulatives like building sticks, blocks, tracks, marbles and tiles to help implement the common core standards through STEM extension lessons.
While most Kinder classrooms these days are getting rid of their play centers and their blocks, I am encouraging my students to develop and nurture that special part of who a 5-year-old is. A young child still needs to use concrete objects, such as tinker toys and blocks, and gears to build, create, and dream BIG!
STEM learning is being implemented throughout our schools to help integrate our Common Core Standards into our lessons, but my students do not have all the materials needed to fully participate in the comprehensive hands on units.
I need additional tools. My kids try hard (but they don't get the necessary help from home), and they are starting with the very basics in all subjects. In order for my children to reach the national average, I have to work twice as hard because they come to me extremely low at the beginning of kindergarten. My school is in an impoverished area, and the students are not provided with much at home, so I have to equip my students with all of the extras beyond the paper and pencils.
Hands-on math and science is one way almost all of my children easily engage and respond to learning. Lessons become easier to teach, and students become much more excited to participate in activities. When I put STEM into teaching, learning is motivating for everyone!
"Learning to Love Learning in Kinder" grant will enhance my math and science program for our children.
These science, engineering, and math manipulatives will be available for the children during the day for free choice, and they will be actively used during my math and science program during hands-on lessons. I have a program balanced between developmental needs and academics, which gives my students the added time they need at this age to use concrete manipulatives, such as gears, stick builders, blocks, tracks, tiles, marbles and kits to work on math and science skills. These manipulative resources may be used in large group, small group, or individual group settings to cover many of the Common Core Standards that involve critical thinking skills and project-based learning skills. Students will plan, build, test, and then improve their project designs until they are successful. Working with the STEM manipulatives each day will help children learn to think like real scientists and engineers!
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