My students need kinesthetic manipulatives to challenge their STEM capabilities and cooperative learning skills.
The students in my classroom come from diverse backgrounds and have the privilege to learn in a school that focuses mainly on technology and technology integration. This is a privilege that many do not have at home, as some students do not have access to a computer or the proper hands-on materials necessary for facilitating learning. It is an amazing experience for my first graders, and the passion and excitement they hold for such an opportunity is a constant in the classroom.
The joy and dedication my students exhibit in the classroom drives my desire to help them grow, both independently and as collaborators.
My goal as their teacher is to help foster their cooperative learning skills to prepare them for an ever-evolving future where collaboration is key. The eagerness, motivation, and drive are all there; I just need the tools to help implement kinesthetic learning in the classroom.
Studies show that as we enter a more technological era, careers will start to focus on collaboration and creativity in the workplace. Teaching cooperative learning strategies is crucial at a young age, as students learn to work together to achieve a goal. I will utilize hands-on materials throughout the day to challenge my students with different collaborative and independent tasks to teach them independence, problem solving, and a strong cooperative work ethic.
With the creation of STEM bins in my classroom, students will be able to create beyond their wildest imaginings.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. These materials will be used with task cards to create specific structures. The task cards will challenge their young minds to use the materials in non-conventional ways. For instance, how could you build a bridge using 2-dimensional materials? It is amazing how innovative 6 and 7 year olds are, especially when given the freedom to be so.
These STEM bins will be used before school during morning work, for early finishers, and for inside recess. The materials need to be durable and dependable so that they can last for years to come. The skills my students learn while using these materials can be used in all aspects of both their educational and personal experiences.
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