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Mrs. Casallas-Duffer from Los Angeles CA is requesting Art Supplies through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Soft Starts For Kindergartners

Help me give my students a variety of tools such as crinkle scissors , sensory beads , bristle builders , and light table pegs and boards to ensure a soft start to their mornings.

  • $218 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Our school's mission is to be "college ready, college bound". I have an eager, curious, and rambunctious group of transitional and older kindergarten students. About 20% have not attended preschool, as it is not universally accessible in our community. Almost all of them are English Language Learners. Many are coming in with a million word gap, underdeveloped fine and gross motor skills, and based on our beginning of the year assessments , only 20% are able to identify all the letters and their sounds. It is truly amazing to see their transformation in 10 school months.

Our school uses a balanced literacy approach, which means no scripted curriculum.

I get to tailor instruction based on my students' needs. This can also be tricky as I need a variety of books and materials that are at their level. For some, this means they are ready to read; for others that means they need picture books with no words.

My Project

What is a soft start? Soft starts allow students on how start their day .Soft starts are driven by personal choice. There are no worksheets waiting at their table and they don't rush to meet at the rug with the class. Soft starts allow students to follow their own curiosity. While I used to start my day with a calendar/morning meeting activity , these were lead by me in a whole group context. Soft starts allow for intentional openings that slowly ease them into the day.

There are four types of soft starts and this project is focusing on purposeful play with an emphasis on developing fine motor skills.

The first 20 minutes of the day will be devoted to students choosing to explore crinkly scissors with different types of paper , making pictures with light pegs on the light table , squishing sensory dough beads, and building with bristle blocks.

Soft starts will allow for students to socialize with peers , develop fine motor skills , and have choice to the start of their day.

Mrs. Casallas-Duffer
Grades PreK-2
Nearly all students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latinx, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

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Expand the "Where your donation goes" section below to see exactly what Mrs. Casallas-Duffer is requesting.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
RR751 - Bristle Builders® - Master Set • Lakeshore Learning Materials $39.99 1 $39.99
VR154 - Squish & Squeeze Sensory Beads • Lakeshore Learning Materials $19.99 2 $39.98
LL555 - Light Table Pegs & Pegboard Set • Lakeshore Learning Materials $19.99 2 $39.98
GG174 - Crinkle-Cut Craft Scissors - Set of 12 • Lakeshore Learning Materials $19.99 1 $19.99

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


4 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


Match offer toward project cost


Match offer to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

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Project Activity

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