I teach at an urban, Title I school where over 90% of students come from low-income households. Federal funding provides free breakfast, lunch, and snacks for every student. Even with parental support, I would love to say that my students have everything that they need to be successful, but they don't. Our classrooms lack much of what is now considered standard in elementary school classrooms due to district and state underfunding.
Despite the basic inequities and challenges my 16 awesome third graders experience daily, they still come to school every day, excited and ready to learn.
In my classroom, I teach 16 wonderful students. In their writing, they tell me about their favorite sports (fútbol), their favorite foods (pizza), and their various hobbies like styling hair. They are creative, silly, and love to try new things. However, most of our students are below grade level in both reading and math with roughly a fourth of students reading at a kindergarten/first-grade level. A growing number of our students speak English as a second language. My goal is always to meet students where they are and help them grow and achieve to levels they couldn't have imagined!
Technology helps my students feel like they can do and accomplish anything. With past classes, I discovered that the most engaged they ever were was when we took part in the Hour of Code. I had borrowed a computer cart, and, suddenly, I had an entire class full of engaged thinkers and learners manipulating programs with confidence and ease. Since the Hour of Code, I've been brainstorming ways to bring this confidence, excitement, and engagement into my daily instruction. The answer? More STEM! STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life situations that help the student learn.
Osmo Coding Kits, Snap Circuits, and the Gravitrax System will teach my students how to code, sequence, design, build and truly spark excitement for learning in order to help them develop a passion for STEM and possibly pursue a career in it later in life.
My students will understand that math and science can be exciting and interesting. They will think critically, problem solve, and push their creativity to new heights! I thank you in advance for helping my students expand their STEM horizons!
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