Make Arrival Great Again… With STEM Tubs!
Students are, and always will be, THE BEST part of being a teacher. My “firsties” always bring an enthusiasm for learning that is palatable even though many of them come from socioeconomically disadvantaged homes. I fill an entire bulletin board every year of the artwork, notes and creations that they make at home and bring in just for me. They love me unconditionally, how could I not bend over backwards to give them the very best learning experience in return.
Arrival can be chaotic if procedures are not in place. First graders need jobs and activities that keep them engaged and out of trouble, so that I can take attendance, check for notes, take a lunch count, etc. In years past, I have placed a worksheet at each student’s seat for them to work on as they arrive. However, I want to make this time of day more purposeful and fun. I plan to provide “morning tubs” filled with various hands on literacy, art, fine motor and STEM activities, but I am really lacking STEM options.
It is my hope that students will be so excited about these arrival bins that they will hurry to class, unpack and get to “work” playing, not even realizing they are learning.
I chose and requested open-ended engineering toys such as take apart dinosaurs, magnetic tiles, a construction set, and an interlocking disc set. With these students will be able to collaborate, and use problem-solving skills to design structures with their peers.
I also specifically chose math activities that will act as extensions of the concepts taught in our math curriculum and provide extra, engaging, hands-on practice opportunities. The items I selected include a place value flip chart that students will use with the base ten blocks already provided in our math curriculum; a set of student clocks; materials for building 2D and 3D shapes; large magnetic tens frames; a math fact memory match game and two addition/subtraction “machines”… which I know will be a huge hit.
I chose a magnet set to round out some of the science options that I already have.
Lastly, I chose sturdy latch- lid bins. These will keep the activities safe, secure and organized when not in use, and make clean up and put away easy for little learners.