My first grade students are always excited and eager to learn in spite of all the challenges they face each day at home and in school. My students are mostly native Spanish speakers and are always so excited about learning. The vast majority of the students I teach are on a free or reduced lunch program. The school in which I teach is located in New York and we have limited funds for supplies due to budget cuts. I can’t stress enough how energetic and excited my students are to learn and the need for materials that will challenge their enthusiasm at the varied reading and math levels.
Each year my students enter my first grade classroom; they are always amazed to see my two fish tanks, my pet snake, and all the plants that surround my room. I teach my students about caring for animals and plants, and about animal, insect, and plant life cycles. We read about life cycles and watch videos explaining the life cycles. However, most have never gotten a chance to experience the full life cycles up close and personal over time.
Seeing the life cycle of plants growing roots in a farm grow box, seeing newly hatched tadpoles grow into frogs, and watching larva grow into butterflies would be such an amazing experience.
The children would have an opportunity to observe, explore, and document what they are seeing over time and talk about it with friends. Then they can go home and teach this information to their families.
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