Originally a town of migrants and farmers, our area has blossomed to a booming suburban town which is as diverse as the fruits and veggies we grow. My students are perfect in their imperfections. They struggle every day and yet still manage to ask me how I am each day and thank me after each lesson. What continues to surprise and inspire me is the students' willingness to become vulnerable in class discussions and open up about their own personal struggles: the foster-system, sexual abuse, familial problems, gang-relates issues, we have discussed it all using our literature as a stepping-off point for more in-depth and personal discussions.
For every one lesson I have taught them, they have taught me ten.
The continued success of our 100+ year old school is a reality because of the students we serve, and while our hearts have expanded to encompass our expanding student body, our classroom supplies are struggling to catch up.
My students, especially Special Education students with IEPs or 504s, as well as my English Language Learners, struggle to write college-level paragraphs that incorporate both specific textual evidence and prompt-based analysis. My incoming students feel insecure with writing (asthey are already struggling to process the information or acquire the language of study) so, using research and data-based methods, I created a color-coded paragraph format to help them become college ready writers. I created a color-coded, six part writing format that can be applied to all types of essays be they analytical and expository. It's called the RAINBOW PARAGRAPH. Red is the topic sentence, orange introduces the quote with context, yellow is the quotation, blue is the explanation/paraphrase and purple (3x) is the analysis based on the prompt.
While the students love the format and are empowered by it, we don't have nearly enough colored pens to actually write using the format; worse so is the fact that the kids from the good part of town all have their own pens from home, leading to a very clear visual of the "haves" and the "have-nots" from what writing utensils are being used.
I've been using crayons and dull colored pencils to take my students through professional college level essays, and the juxtaposition of professional writing to unprofessional writing tools is astounding and embarrassing. I buy my own flair pens when I can to give to students in need but they get used up so quickly it feels Sisyphean in nature.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Mrs. Tucker.
DonorsChoose is the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Mrs. Tucker and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.