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Ms. Killeen from El Cajon CA is requesting Educational Kits & Games through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Powerful Play for an Inclusive Classroom

Help me give my students morning STEM bins that they can use to start their day in a calm and creative way.

  • $598 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

The children of immigrants, or immigrants themselves, my students value hard work and the opportunities they have, but face many social, emotional, and economic challenges. Over half of them are English learners and 90% come from low income families. Many have come to the United States fleeing intolerance or other hardships at home and are now learning to live in a very diverse community.

My students are developing into reflective learners who seek out opportunities for action.

At our school, we have a focus on communication through writing and presentation literacy. They are learning to tell their own stories. And with such a wide range of experiences to share and to learn from, they have a lot of stories to tell.

My class is caring, curious, and motivated. They love team-building activities and practicing their leadership skills. They enjoy math and the Zumba breaks that come afterwards. They get lost in stories and beg for one more chapter. They love using technology to develop research skills and to share what they've learned. They are great at making do with limited resources, but have so much potential to achieve more, given the opportunity.

My Project

I am proud to say that my school is "fully-included" meaning that all students spend their day in a general education classroom regardless of special needs. This practice is not only the least restrictive, but also so socially and emotionally beneficial for ALL students. In my classroom, students have different cultural backgrounds, home languages, physical abilities, and learning styles, but they learn together as a community. One thing that many of my students have in common is that they have experienced some trauma in their lives. Trauma causes a fight or flight response, and prevents the brain from learning. In order to be fully inclusive, a classroom needs to offer opportunities for children to remediate some of the trauma they have experienced.

Research shows that play helps to strengthen relationships and feelings of safety, and teaches children valuable skills such as turn-taking, patience, perseverance, and collaboration.

These are all things that students also need to be successful learners in the classroom. I would like to offer my students the chance for calm and therapeutic play each morning, so that they can start their day in a happy and positive way, and so that school can be a place where they feel safe, successful, and loved.

Currently, the first thing my stduents do each day is complete some morning work on their computer. I have noticed this contributing to anti-social and agitated behaviors and want to reduce the amount of screen time my students are getting at school. I have chosen several types of hands-on engineering materials that will be cognitively engaging for students, facilitate social play and collaboration, and spark their creativity. Students will have a choice of these materials for the first fifteen minutes of each day, and will move into academic time with calm minds and smiling faces.

Ms. Killeen
Grades 3-5
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
PicassoTiles 100 Piece Set 100pcs Magnet Building Tiles Clear Magnetic 3D Building Blocks Construction Playboards, Creativity beyond Imagination, Inspirational, Recreational, Educational Conventional • Amazon Business $54.99 1 $54.99
{150 Piece Set} Wooden Castle Building Blocks Set FAO SCHWARZ Toy Solid Pine Wood Block Playset Kit for Kids, Toddlers, Boys, and Girls, Fantasy Medieval Knights and Princesses with Bridges and Arches • Amazon Business $44.95 1 $44.95
ITSPHUN 104-Piece Geometric Construction Kit • Amazon Business $33.99 1 $33.99
Bunchems Jumbo Pack • Amazon Business $29.99 1 $29.99
ROCK ON! Geology Game with Rock & Mineral Collection – Collect and Learn with STEM-based Educational Science Kit in Carrying Case - Amethyst, Rhodonite, Selenite Crystal, Sodalite and lots more • Amazon Business $27.99 1 $27.99
National Geographic Play Sand - 6 LBS of Sand with Castle Molds (Purple) - A Kinetic Sensory Activity • Amazon Business $27.99 1 $27.99
Learning Resources Classpack Geoboards, 7 Inches, Set of 10 • Amazon Business $27.97 1 $27.97
DA334 - Wooden Pattern Blocks • Lakeshore Learning Materials $24.99 1 $24.99
SCS Direct Building Bricks - 1000 Pc "Big Bag of Bricks" Bulk Pastel Friends-colored Blocks with 54 Roof Pieces - Tight Fit with All Major Brands • Amazon Business $24.99 1 $24.99
Hacking Project Based Learning: 10 Easy Steps to PBL and Inquiry in the Classroom (Hack Learning Series) (Volume 9) • Amazon Business $21.69 1 $21.69
EMIDO 480 Pcs Building Toy Building Blocks Bars Different Shape Educational Construction Engineering Set 3D Puzzle , Interlocking Creative Connecting Kit, A Great STEM Toy for Both Boys and Girls! • Amazon Business $17.99 1 $17.99
Math for Love Tiny Polka Dot • Amazon Business $14.95 1 $14.95
Building Brick Base Plates - Blue 10 Pack of 5 x 5" Stackable Classic Baseplates - Compatible with All Major Building Block Toys • Amazon Business $13.99 1 $13.99
TH4530 - Pattern Blocks Design Cards • Lakeshore Learning Materials $12.99 1 $12.99
HH288 - Easy-Squeeze Fine Motor Scoops - Set of 10 • Lakeshore Learning Materials $12.99 1 $12.99
Building Block Toys of 500 Pieces, Gear Flakes Connect Interlocking Plastic Disc, A Creative and Educational Construction Toy Bricks - Best Gift for Boys and Girls • Amazon Business $12.98 1 $12.98
Spot It! JR. Animals • Amazon Business $9.99 1 $9.99
Continuum Games Checkers, One Size • Amazon Business $8.54 1 $8.54
Pony Beads Multi Color 9mm 1000 Pcs in Bag • Amazon Business $4.05 2 $8.10

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


6 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


Match offer toward project cost


Match offer to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

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Project Activity

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