I am the lucky teacher of not one, but TWO classes of amazing and one-of-a-kind students. Yes, yes, I know that every teacher, just like any proud parent, says "my kids are the best", but I truly believe that I've been rewarded with the task of teaching and caring for some of the most wonderful young individuals in our city.
Something that's really amazing about my students is that they don't let the cards that they've been dealt in life determine their worth or trump their dreams, because they know that their limitations and challenges also make them valuable.
My classes are made up of Spanish and English speaking students from all over NYC. Many of them travel from far to make sure that they get to learn in both of their languages every day, some have even crossed borders to be able to sit in our classrooms. Of course we have a large number of ELLs, but we also have Spanish Language Learners, and students who are making huge strides towards meeting their IEP goals as well.
But the coolest thing about my students is that although they're all different, we're all united by a common language.
I teach science to 5th and 6th grades. In 5th grade we have an amazing unit on Earth's Features in which we learn about how landforms and rocks are made through the study of fossils. In 6th grade, we focus all year on energy transformations and energy conservancy in both a small scale and globally. While the curriculum materials for both grades are exceptional, the opportunities for hands-on exploration are limited and we rely heavily on digital simulations and modeling tools.
My students are an incredibly diverse bunch and they learn best through exploration and discovery in hands-on activities and stations.
My goal for this project is to be able to supplement our existing curriculum materials with manipulatives that students can use on their own to create first-hand experiences, access prior knowledge, elevate their discussions, and formulate questions based on close observations.
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