Students in my class come to school from varying backgrounds. We spend the bulk of our first weeks together creating a classroom community where students can feel safe and support each other. After that, it is much easier to get students to work together and see that despite what/where they may have come from, we all have a common goal--to learn as much as we can from and with each other!
Our school is in a small town full of kids with big hearts.
It is one of four elementary schools in the district and has 46% of our students relying on free and reduced lunch for much of their nutrition during the school year.
Making connections is an important thing when learning new things. Whether in math, science, social students, or language arts, it is imperative that students connect concepts within and across areas.
Our 4th grade students love making connections.
Unfortunately, these connections aren't always as obvious when we only use textbooks to teach them. This project will allow us to supplement the teaching we already do with products designed to help students make connections more easily.
The math manipulatives will help students visualize numbers (even fractions) on a number line. Students don't always realize that fractions are numbers! They are often presented as pictures or pieces of objects. A lot of student misconceptions are a result of simply not understanding that fractions are numbers in between their counting numbers. The number line tools will put numberlines in the hands of students. Right now I can project number lines or draw them for students, but we don't have number lines for students to use to show their own ideas about them. With these number lines, I will be able to easily do activities like this one: http://www.theteacherstudio.com/2018/01/what-makes-teaching-fractions-so.html
The books will help students make connections to people in history; people not unlike themselves who went through extraordinary situations and persevered. We focus on kindness and civil rights from January through February with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Valentine's Day, but often students struggle with seeing the people from the times of slavery or the civil rights movement as people a lot like themselves. Depending on the group of students we have, these books would be used as read alouds, as books for students to read independently, and/or as guided reading books. We spend a lot of time teaching students to connect to the literature they read.
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