I teach 40 fourth graders math, science, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). Our school is so diverse in languages spoken and experiences brought into the classroom. Before students are expected to master complex STEM topics and multiplication facts, students need to feel valued, loved, and confident in their abilities.
Students need role models that look like them.
Understanding the lives, challenges, and accomplishments of minorities will help students realize what they are capable of. With a faculty and staff that is entirely white, we cannot begin to truly comprehend our students' experiences.
In fourth grade, we tackle engaging STEM projects such as Code-A-Palooza, Robot Fest, Coaster Wars, and science fair. Students learn the Engineering Design Process, how to communicate and work effectively as teams, and just how useful their imaginations can be.
With a majority minority school, books that highlight the challenges and accomplishments that people of color have and still encounter is essential.
Books that teach us about history and what is possible for the students' futures will help keep my lessons engaging and relevant to the students lives. Students seeing themselves in books will help them believe that science and math is for everyone.
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