Our inner city school in Lowell, MA has a wonderful group of diverse children. Approximately 80% of my first grade class speaks another language at home. They are students during the day and, even at their young age, they help teach older generations of their family English when they get home. My students come from many different backgrounds and speak Khmer, Laotian, Igbo, Spanish, Creole and English. 100% of our students qualify for free breakfast and lunch. We have many wonderful programs during the school year to provide food for weekends and I always let my children take home any supplies they might need (even if it means the books come back a little worn). Since most of my students entered a classroom for the first time in Kindergarten, we have a lot to catch up on. All of our students work hard, but many are below grade level in reading at this time. During the summer, some students of working families have limited activities and experiences planned. Summer vacation is a little sad, because they would rather be at school where they are active and with their peers and teachers.
As Earth Day approaches we want to focus on ways our classroom can reduce waste! Wipe away whiteboards will help us get the same amount of practice on phonics and math, but with almost NO waste! Of course we need the accessories, so markers and erasers are included.
A fun teacher trick is to laminate older worksheets (use corrective tape if they need revision).
This way students can practice using the worksheet and then wipe it off so their friend can do it next! No need to make 24 copies!
Dry erase boards are great for handwriting and practicing math equations. They are very motivating for students in first grade. They even play school with them during indoor recess!
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