My classroom is a Bridges classroom. Bridges is a behavior program of our school district. So while many people who see the students in my classroom see only their behaviors and struggles, when they are in my room they are welcomed as wonderful, talented, creative, and special individuals.
My students are so much more than their behaviors.
The students in my classroom are gregarious, witty, charming, and fun. While all the students in my room are practicing and working towards proficiency in social skills and managing their behaviors, they each maintain a distinct, unique, and lovable personality.
By meeting my students where they are at and preserving their dignity, we gradually enter into a relationship of friendship, security, and respect. I want my students to feel safe, loved, and engaged.
Many of the students in my classroom come to me with holes in their math foundation, missing understanding of key mathematical principles. I try and integrate math axioms throughout the day. I will tell my students today's workbook page is 21+10 or when dismissing them, I'll have students with an even lunch card number line up first. One gap that I've noticed my students have is an ability to identify and count coins.
What better way to close this gap then learning about coins firsthand through a coin operated, novelty toy dispenser?
Having this machine in my classroom will not only allow my students to identify and count using true legal coins, but it will also give them an instant sense of accomplishment and glee when receiving their token prize. For students who have precious little of their own, having a trinket they earned through their own mental prowess can mean the world.
Additionally, having this naturally fun and engaging method to encourage students to explore identifying and counting coins makes it safe for students to exhibit their vulnerabilities. For students who lack grade level understanding and who feel anxious and apprehensive about math, having a universally enjoyable and exciting way to examine and delve into coins makes them feel secure.
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