As part of our "For Good", we committed to donating $1 for each of the Middle School Boy flags designed with Comedian Mr. Williams to classroom projects around the country. We used DonorsChoose.com, an incredible site where you can make micro-donations directly to teachers to fund their projects.
Is it incredibly sad that we have a country where teachers need to crowd-fund basic needs, sure. But none-the-less, DonorsChoose.com is a wonderful tool and we encourage anyone reading this to go find a project to fund.
We donated to the following projects and took each one over the finish line to be fully funded:
The water in Jackson, Mississippi schools is still not safe to drink.
I would like to provide my students with more water bottles to keep in our classroom refrigerator to make sure they stay hydrated at school and at home.
The Crystal Light packets will serve to make my students more interested in drinking water and staying healthy. The variety of miniature Hershey's chocolate bars will be used as a small encouragement for my hardworking students.
I hope to make sure my students have everything they need in order to complete all of their work and be successful each day.
These hair care products will give my students an opportunity to feel great about themselves! Many of my students do not have access to the necessary hair care as part of their daily grooming routine. Some of the girls are being raised by single dads who have no clue about how to comb hair, much less how to style and care for black hair.
Little black girls deserve and opportunity to realize that their hair is beautiful!
With the right hair products, manageable styling and a little love, every little girl can wear their crowns proudly!
Our classroom has a wide variety of learners, many of whom could benefit from a more inclusive classroom space. Please help our students focus more during independent work time using these dividers. We would also love to fully develop our calm corner by adding more pillows and fidget toys that can truly help students get back on track with their learning.
These tools will help all our different learners feel more comfortable in the classroom and will actively help them finally be able to focus and learn in the highly distracting school environment.
The dividers and pillows will especially help our students cope using their SEL skills of advocating for themselves and asking for the tools they need. These items have been highly requested multiple times by both students and families, and while I have provided what I can so far, the students would benefit from more scaffolded learning supports!
Being a Title 1 school, many of our students come from low income homes. Many of our students are houseless. My co-teacher and I are hoping to create a hygiene headquarters where students can get things from hair rubber bands and combs, to deodorant and menstruation products.
Helping our students to feel comfortable in their own bodies and decrease any self consciousness will help with their confidence socially, emotionally, and academically.
When they don't have to worry about whether they smell or have to walk all the way to the health room for necessary products, they can focus on their learning and growing their friendships.
Students are studying our political system by analyzing the U.S. Constitution, historical connections to amendments, and how they can become activists themselves through both grassroots movements as well as utilizing our legislative system. Combining these ideas and discussing systems of oppression that have/are leading to change in our society will give students the opportunity to see themselves as agents of change in our society.
Bryan Stevenson is an activist through his writing about the prison system; he looks at the humanity of a system that is often only about the numbers.
He also explores the historic connections to some of our most important amendments and the role they play in overcoming or reinforcing systems of oppression. Teaching our students to think critically and how they too can be the change they wish to see in the world is my ultimate goal with this unit. I want students to have their own copy of the book to annotate as they explore a complex topic. It's my goal to teach students to analyze topics from multiple perspectives and find their own voice in the process.