Each year, students in my classroom participate in our own version of a Toastmaster's Program. I strongly believe that in order to best be engaged in writing, students need a purpose and an audience. In this program, students work on writing pieces throughout the year and pick three (opinion, informational, narrative) that they find pride in to present through this public speaking program. We invite members of our community, other students, and families. Students go through the writing process with greater ease and build stamina and perseverance knowing that there is an end goal in mind. I've seen HUGE growth in student writing. My second graders plan, write, revise, and create final drafts for essays on a variety of topics. Last year we wrote persuasive essays on Deforestation and informational pieces on a National Park that they presented to park rangers. Students run the whole program from being president, vice president, secretary, and grammarian. What's great is that I am able to release responsibility and act as a facilitator as they step into the role of young adult. School wide teachers have students present and hols formal meetings in which the podium would be utilized.We would adore having a small podium in our classroom in order to create an even more realistic and professional environment. It will allow students to take greater ownership in their work and presentation.
The objective of this grant is also to secure funding support to purchase five electricity kits, and one rock and minerals kit for the fourth and fifth grade classroom. Each kit includes parallel and series circuits, light bulbs, resistors, motors, electromagnets, and a solar power panel. Additionally, we are seeking funding for a rock and minerals kit for our unit on the rock cycle. This set comes with 75 number-coded, unmounted 3/4"-1" specimens, perfect for handing out to students and allowing them to test each rock in this kit for its unique physical properties. Nine of the ten hardness levels from the Mohs scale are included (all but diamond). A sturdy compartmented storage box, streak plate, magnet, magnifier, and Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones: an Introductory Study Guide are included.It is organized into sections on mineral properties, metallic minerals, nonmetallic minerals, rock forming minerals, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, metamorphic rocks, and gemstones. It also has charts on the rock cycle and on classification of the three types of rocks.These kits will enhance our ability to teach the fourth grade Next Generation Science Standards on electricity and rocks by providing hand on applications to the content. This will allow our students to test various rock samples and classify them. It will also allow for them to work in teams to problem solve electricity circuits as well as compare the benefits of cell power from solar energy.