I teach at a K-8 school focused on social justice. Our programs are built around supporting our students' exploration of their place in the world, and giving them the voice and the courage to build the communities they want to live in. In my classroom they explore science and engineering, diagnosing brain injuries from MRI images and building, testing and revising rocket designs as a team.
My students are passionate, creative, caring and brave.
Our middle school grades serve a diverse group of students, each one bringing a unique set of interests and needs to the classroom. I am honored to get to teach and learn alongside them, and get to know them better each year they are with us. I want to support them in becoming the best humans they can be, and though they will bring the energy, enthusiasm and love of learning, it is up to me (and you) to help supply them with the tools to use on their educational adventures.
If you ask a middle school student why they like science 90% of the time they will say, "Because you get to do labs and hands-on stuff!"
When students get to use physical materials to experiment or build they become more focused, engaged, supportive of each other and creative.
Giving them access to a wide range of supplies so they can be truly inventive and select their own building materials means that our classroom needs access to a wide range of storage options.
The bins that I have chosen will be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the larger ones will be used as storage for building supplies not in use. This will help us keep our materials in good condition and decrease clutter and distractions in our learning space. The medium bins will be used to pull materials for easy access during lessons and labs so students know what constraints they will need to design around. The smallest bins will be used for storing student work by keeping the projects that students are in the process of building, testing and redesigning protected from the dangers of accidental bumps and misplaced parts.
Finally, I have included small notebooks so that students will have an observation journal to use inside and outside the classroom. They will be creating sketches of their ideas, designs and observations, tracking changes through time and investigating phenomena in their neighborhoods using these journals. The majority of my students come from low-income families, so supplying these and some back up binders for our students who are most in need will significantly lessen the burden of a new school year on their families.
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