We are a K-5 school that houses 415 students and 31 teachers. Approximately 90% of our students receive free or reduced lunch. There were a total of 99 suspensions for behavior problems during the 2015-2016 school year. This number is significant and translates into a loss of instruction through direct contact with teachers. Along with two other schools in the district, we were labeled a “Low Performing School.” Low-performing schools are those that receive a school performance grade of D or F and a school growth score of “met expected growth” or “not met expected growth.” This year, however, we are embarking upon a new journey as a Restart School. With this title, we will be given a number of flexibilities from the state to provide our students with individual learning opportunities.
Our fourth graders are unique this year in that 95% of them are reading below grade level.
As a result, a major focus during a normal day is on reading instruction. Although my students love to learn, my students struggle to stay focused and are very active. They need constant movement and lots of reinforcement. Unfortunately, they may not always get this reinforcement.
A number of my students struggle to stay focused during instructional time. They need to move and groove to activate their brain waves. These exercise balls and yoga mats will allow students to stretch their bodies and their minds!
Because I already have some forms of flexible seating in my classroom, this will give students additional alternatives when it comes to collaborative work with their peers, independent reading, and classwork.
When my students walk into the classroom, I want them to feel like they are entering a space that is comfortable yet engaging. Students should feel excited about coming to school. As a result, we as educators need to rethink how we are designing our classrooms to promote 21st century learning.
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