Prior to May 20th, 2013, students at Briarwood ranged in the demographic make-up. Over the past few years our percentage of free and reduced lunches have steadily risen from 33% in 2009 to over 40% in 2012. The main factor for this is the economic status of our state and country. Several parents have been laid off and have either taken a job for less pay or have been unable to find work. Other challenges that our students face because of the economic decline is buying school supplies and incidentals throughout the year. I have purchased several sets of supplies for not only my homeroom, but other students in the sixth grade. Sixth graders are at such a difficult age; fashion and fitting in are so important to them. I purchased several end of the year t-shirts for my students. We had shirts for various events such as; Super Kids Day, 6th Grade Glow Party, and end of the year t-shirt signing. After May 20th, 139 of our Briarwood students lost their homes. Most are still residing in hotels or living with relatives. As we start our school year I the fall, at Emmaus Baptist Church, I can only imagine the obstacles and new challenges our students will face.
This year two of our sixth graders, siblings, faced a daily challenge in that their dad has muscular sclerosis.
He is totally disabled and their mom leaves early each morning for her job. The responsibility of getting dad up, fed, and in his wheel chair falls on to these two young students. There were several days that the students missed school or were late because they were taking care of dad. The daughter was also involved in a competitive soccer league. The family sacrificed money and time to take her to tournaments in and around our state. These two parents did everything they could to help give their children a normal childhood. These two students worked hard to maintain a high grade average. They always checked for missing assignments and turned in missing work promptly. Both students received letter grades of A all year long. The students in my classroom this year faced a wide range of academic issues as well. I had students with learning disabilities ranging from ADHD to mildly autistic. In order to help these students have a successful year, I made all the required modifications and then some to help them stay positive and eager to learn. The challenge I faced was creating hands on activities for several of these students. I worked one on one with these students in order to ensure their success. There were days that this wasn'ÃÂÃÂt easy, but their willingness to learn and not disappoint me was all I needed to put forth 110% every day.
"ÃÂÃÂIt is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. Without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail." -- Albert Einstein Too many teachers today are still relying on lecture, note taking, and worksheet mania. I for one believe that in order to reach todayÃÂ¢ÃÂÃÂs generation we must give our students hands on, engaging learning opportunities. The resources I am requesting will help me do just that. Students learn in a variety of different ways; I want to give them opportunities to read, discuss, write about their findings, have hands on opportunities, and be able to relay to others what they have just accomplished. I am requesting an iPad to enhance research projects in my classroom. Our state has adopted the new Common Core standards and along with the new standards comes a need for more access technology. My students will be able to work in groups to research various science, as well as social studies projects. My hope with this grant is that I can have more student led sessions. I would like for the students to choose a topic they love and create a presentation for the class. There are so many wonderful apps that I would love for my students to have daily access to these educational opportunities
With technology changing daily and our standards becoming more rigorous, it is essential that we give our students every opportunity to learn through the use of technology.
Prior to the tornado, I used my iPad daily with my students, or rather my students used it. I had several apps that were interactive with the lessons I taught.Read More
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