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News and Stories from across the District

Bringing Science to Life in My Classroom

02 May 2024

By Ms. Daphne Meyer, a Teacher at Kellogg Elementary School

Kellogg Teacher

It’s been an enjoyable past month for my students, specifically in terms of the engaging science activities that we’ve been doing in my classroom. I love teaching science to my first graders. For Earth Day, we read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, planted seeds, and learned about ways we can protect the environment. 

My students will probably tell you that I’m silly, but I would also hope that they feel happy and cared for in my room. I focus a lot on social-emotional learning. There’s a corner of my classroom dedicated to this purpose. It has a tent and different resources that students can use to calm down or process their emotions. 

There are certain academic skills that I want every student to have when they leave my classroom, such as knowing how to read. But I also want them to master other types of skills as well, such as understanding how to build positive relationships with others and how to advocate for their communities and for themselves. 

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I’m glad that I get to continue growing my relationships with my students even after they leave first grade. I further explore my love of science by running the STEM Club at my school. Many of my former students who are now in second or third grade have joined the STEM Club, and tell me that they have positive memories of my classroom. 

I’m very passionate about exposing students to potential STEM careers, and one way I’m furthering this passion is by participating in the Yale National Fellows program. I’m going to be learning from and working with different professors on a science unit that is focused on the environment. 

This topic is very near and dear to me. I grew up on Chicago’s East Side, which has a lot of factories. This inspires me to help students learn how to take care of our planet. In the long term, students will be able to advocate for environmental justice by deepening their understanding of climate change. 

Helping students become advocates starts with figuring out what they are interested in and developing fun classroom activities and projects based on those interests. From there, you need to encourage them to make good choices and to never sell themselves short. 

Years from now, when they are leaders in their communities, you will be able to know that you played a small role in their achievements.

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