Kindergarteners are curious, excited, and full of energy! Which makes my job like that of a circus ringmaster. The school population consists of 83% of students who are eligible for free lunch. Nearly 2/3 of our students are also characterized as English language learners, which makes it that much more challenging to keep them focused and engaged throughout the day.
The "friends" in my class are all motivated to learn; however, many of them do not have access to learning resources at home.
Despite the fact that we're located in Santa Cruz, an idyllic oceanfront location, our community is an urban pocket where many families are doubled up in their housing situation, parents work multiple jobs, and the cost of living is skyrocketing. Yet, my "friends" are resilient and have big dreams for their future. I receive just $200 for my classroom budget for the year and as a new teacher, I'm still developing my "toolkit" of materials and resources to help my "friends" learn to the best of their abilities.
This inviting learning carpet will be used to provide the space my students need to truly focus on the learning at hand. My 24 fidgety kindergarteners are currently squeezed on to a carpet that has only 20 squares. As you might imagine, I hear lots of "So-and-so is touching me!" or "So-and-so is in MY square!"
In order for my students to successfully concentrate on the lesson I'm teaching, I need to provide them with the space they need in order to learn.
I see the carpet as a way to minimize behavior problems, encourage mutual respect, and foster social-emotional growth.
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