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Everyday during the school year, around 25 3rd grade students walk into my classroom full of life and love. While my students will change year after year, many things will stay the same. This year my students have grown so much and have become wonderful members of our community. Their excitement for learning is contagious. Each one of them has become a part of my heart. No matter their challenges, children want to learn, and are excited to try new things. My 3rd grade students come from a wide range of backgrounds. However, the majority are Hispanic and/or low-income. 100% of the students in the school receive free breakfast and lunch. Even at the young age of 7,8 and 9 years old, they have struggled with issues that many of us did not, have not, or will not have to worry about in our lifetimes. Some do not get a chance to celebrate their birthdays. Others struggle to find food at night, and some have violence in their homes. Despite everything that could pull these kids down, they are sweet children that are eager learners. School is a safe place for them, and they blossom in the communities built inside
My students are incredibly lucky to have such wonderful access to technology in the classroom. However, with technology being so accessible to today's children, many students are missing out on building activities that are so important to their growth and development. STEM fields are so important to our country, and creating critical thinkers, learners and builders needs to start at a young age. My students need building materials to use to solve STEM problems, and test their hypotheses. All of the STEM kits listed will be used for many different reasons. Whether it is building bridges, creating a structure that can withstand an earthquake, or creating a new creature to help with a task, these items will provide what these students need to engage in the content they are learning about. Finally, many classroom rewards involve using technology. I want our classroom rewards to allow students to engage with different building activities. Playing with these objects will help their spatial reasoning. This builds skills in all of the STEM fields.