My students need books and activities that foster thinking and problem solving skills during times that are unproductive.
In the public school setting, there are times of a 6th grader's day or week that could be considered "unproductive" to their learning. For example: waiting on bus pickup, indoor recess during bad weather, after finishing breakfast and lunch, and times when finished with assignments or testing.
Our 6th graders are a very diverse group: different in race, culture, intelligence and economic background.
No matter what intellectual level, all students will experience "down time" or "wait time". Not only are the student "wasting" educational opportunity but down time often leads to behavior issues. All students need extra oppournitites to hone their problem solving and thinking skills without adding daunting activities. Fun activities can boost brainpower too!
I recently purchased the following books to start a Think Club for 6th graders to help me plan structured activities for those "down times" : Science, Math, Checkmate: 32 Chess Activities for Inquiry and Problem Solving, and Children and Chess: A Guide for Educators. I am requesting 12 portable sets of chess, books for teaching the game, 2 engineering activity books, and a mobile cart. Chess games have been used with children and adults to foster problem solving skills, they would give the students a "fun" activity that would still be brain stimulating during times that are "wasted" on waiting for the rest of their class to finish eating, catch a bus, or finish a class assignment. Children also at this age need intentional activities that build social skills. Engineering activities and chess give students the opportunities to practice communication and team building. All students need extra opportunities to hone their problem solving and thinking skills.
It is a fact that students need down time but down time doesn't have to forfeit the opportunity to learn, and learn in a fun way.
Most children love to design and build (engineering activities) and most love games. Games like chess force kids to use their brain! Our students would benefit from the requested materials !
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.