The 28 students in my first grade classroom are diverse in every aspects and enjoy learning in our International Baccalaureate school. Students range from diverse learners with Down syndrome to students reading at a 3rd grade level. Socio-economic levels range from Title I students to well off. My students come from all over the world. My goal is to develop knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through respect.
Their enthusiasm for learning is contagious as they navigate first grade.
Everything is new and wonderful, eye-opening and amazing, awe-inspiring and exciting. Their openness to new ideas and developing sense of empathy make first grade the best grade to teach. As a school experiencing community- led change, social emotional learning is imbedded in all instruction throughout the day.
Maker spaces have a significant impact on student learning. Supplying students with materials to build and create imaginative and original designs helps them think outside of the box and develop the potential to solve real world problems. Unstructured play, experimentation, and tinkering develop executive functioning skills. When they engage in these activities, the brain’s ability to make decisions, experiment, and evaluate results grow increasing attention skills and the ability to persevere through challenging projects.
Students focus on a growth mind set as they reflect on what they can change to make a project better (McQuinn, 2018) thinking, “Why not?”
Maker Spaces give students the opportunity to work with a wide range of materials, bring ideas to life through planning, trial and error, communicate with peers, and problem solve in a safe and fun environment. With the maker space area and new materials, my students will be innovators!
My students and I have collected many recycled, consumable and crafting materials but we need more engineering and robotics materials like the Dash Dot Learn to Code Education - Dash Robot for collaborating with peers and utilizing key problem solving skills that are relevant in the 21st century. Research shows that introducing STEM early plays a key role in cognitive development and interest in the subjects later on (Lin, 2016).
The combination of materials allows the students to experiment within their interests making it neurologically “possible to learn well because they care. Learning is wired through the limbic system – the emotional part of the brain – which is why students learn best when they are doing something they enjoy” (McQuinn, 2018).
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Ms. Sheriff.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Ms. Sheriff and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.