My 4th grade students have an eagerness to learn. They want to do well because for some of them, education is the only way to change their future. I teach in a Title I school in southern West Virginia where a large percentage of our students qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.
My students come to school every day excited and ready to learn.
They strive to be leaders regardless of the circumstances that may be happening in their lives outside of school. I want my students to know they can reach the stars. They can rise above their circumstances and be anything they want to be. I want my students to know that they are worth being given opportunities that otherwise may not come to them.
Many of my students feel "they are not good at math" or "just not a math person". I want to try to change this mindset with my students! I feel one of the best ways for me to encourage students to like math is to provide rigorous, engaging, & differentiated instruction.
Using manipulatives helps me reach the different modalities of learning that each student has and produces active engagement through hands on learning.
Being able to manipulate and investigate math, as well as having colorful, visual representation, can give students a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts they may struggle with.
Having these manipulatives in our classroom will open up understanding of math for some students, that would not occur otherwise. They will help make learning equitable for my students who need more than just seeing a concept once and it is forever stored in their brain. As students manipulate and investigate math, understanding will come, which will lead to more successful moments, which in return will lead to a love of math!
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