My students are from a low-income, high poverty inner city school district. My students are faced with many challenges both in and out of the classroom. Despite the challenges they face, I am looking to keep things simple and provide my students with creative and meaningful learning experiences.
While my students may face many daily challenges, their eagerness to learn is astonishing.
They come to school every day ready to learn their math facts, how to choose a correct book to read independently, to explore the world around them through science, and finally write about it all.
They amaze me every day with their new discoveries, even some I did not think of. It is an honor to work with them and if you were to take a simple glimpse into our room you would feel the same!
Abstract thinking is not the way to teach, I want my students to learn how to use every avenue necessary to succeed. Students are explorers, they want to use their hands to explore, so why stop them? My students are at the perfect age to look at a complex problem and give up or to look at that same complex problem and think I got this! Let's break this down and figure out how to succeed.
Manipulatives and supportive materials are part of the key to success in math and reading.
Being able to visually see and touch a way to make a 10 will later lead to abstract mathematical thinking, the ultimate goal. Math is not difficult, as long as it taught correctly, and being able to use hands-on math will lead to my students' to later success. I know that visual learning is easier for my students to see when they can manipulate numbers with touch, like unifix cubes and number bonds.
The same goes for reading! We want students to be fluent readers, however, what does a fluent reader sound like? Having access to headphones will allow students to hear fluent readers through technology. Now let's add the whisper phones, and students can now hear how they, themselves, sound when they read. Differentiated instruction is not just for the struggling student, but for all students. So I want to get these materials into all my student's hands so they can choose the best way of thinking works for them. There is not just one way to solve a complex problem. We all think differently let's embrace these differences.
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