Our school is a newer Chicago Public School that opened its doors in September 2010. A large population of the students are English Language Learners (ELL) who come from immigrant families, and over 90% of the student population qualifies for free lunch and breakfast, an indicator of income-level in the area. Additionally, our class sizes are very large with each class containing 30-35 students.
Our students work very hard but lack the hands-on resources many schools take for granted.
These resources are important when teaching hands-on science.
My 5th and 6th grade students are very engaged in hands-on science. They especially love to take care of our class pet which is a leopard gecko. After they have researched the habitat and types of food the leopard gecko eats, different students are responsible for taking care of the pet, which includes bringing in mealworms and crickets for food. The mealworms need to be stored in a refrigerator. Currently we use the staff lounge refrigerator. Understandably, the teachers are not crazy about sharing their fridge with 100 mealworms.
We also need the mini-fridge to access ice cubes for various experiments, including investigations about the changing states of water and understanding convection currents.
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