My fourth graders are creative, enthusiastic learners, and they love to think outside of the box! Instead of wrapping up our geography unit with a test, for example, we created 3D maps of our beloved state, painted, labeled, and added unique and personal touches that illustrated all we'd learned about maps, landforms, and Texas regions. We concluded our poetry unit by hosting a "poetry cafe," complete with "coffee" (hot cocoa) and rich literature read out loud by our student writers.
The best thing I've done for my virtual students this year is mail home care packages with books, stickers, snacks, and school supplies. These gifts have improved their mood and strengthened our connection - it's tangible proof that their teacher cares about and thinks about them. Given that many of my virtual kids haven't been in school for over a year and have limited interaction with people outside of their home, I recognize that it's so important to offer them novel learning opportunities to keep their engagement up and improve their mental health.
In this project, I'm requesting prepaid priority mailing envelopes, watercolors, and canvases for spring care packages.
The kids will create a literacy/art project at the culmination of our reading unit. Since most of my students are virtual, I'll mail them the canvases and watercolors in the priority mailing envelopes so that they can participate from home. After reading "Front Desk," a novel that gently tackles immigration, poverty, and third culture kid issues, the kids will reflect on these themes and then create an art piece - art engagement alleviates anxiety, depression and stress and will improve their mental and emotional health.
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