Occasionally, I will see in my personal Facebook page a post from a teacher sharing their Donor’s Choose project. I love to see how creative teachers are with their requests and how they plan to use them in the classroom. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Donor’s Choose it is essentially a crowd funding website where people and companies can fund projects for a specific classroom. Today, I am sharing 6 Donor’s Choose Ideas for Middle School.
DONOR’S CHOOSE IDEAS FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL
1. Scholastic Magazines
Scholastic magazines are the gift that keeps on giving! You might be familiar with their book fairs or the incredible “trinkets” they come up with each year, but you might not know that Scholastic offers resources for middle school students, too! Their Classroom Magazines are engaging, high-interest, and relevant for middle school students. Each magazine will be delivered to your classroom alongside teacher guides to help you integrate the content into your classroom. They also provide online tools like videos that could be used as lesson hooks, texts with multiple reading levels (or the audio read-alouds version) and engaging review games. I never taught ELA, but I totally see this as a huge win for differentiating.
I personally love how each content area has its own magazine! I mean no more searching for math graphs or real-life application. No more, “will I ever use this” questions. #winning
These magazines are perfect for Donor’s Choose because they are a great price point and often can be matched with various codes. I am also so excited because Scholastic is giving away one free classroom subscription to the magazine of your choice for the 2017/18 school year! Go to my Facebook page to take part in the giveaway!
2. Classroom Library
When you first think about a classroom library, you might think about an English class. But, what if every classroom had a library? What if students could go from room to room and see a variety of books? That would be awesome!
I will admit that I had a very modest library which consisted of some donated books. In retrospect, I would love to have had a cozy corner with some popular books or magazines for students to read during tutorials, homeroom, or as an early finisher activity. Donor’s Choose is a great way to make that cozy area happen. From bookshelves on Amazon to physical books to book bins for organization, I think we can all agree that making reading accessible and interesting is a win-win.
Board games might be a lost art! Middle schoolers love technology so much that it is possible that they have lost the art of basic problem solving and competition while playing board games. Let’s bring back the board games!
Teamwork, collaboration, problem solving, and fun are all benefits of board games. I used “problem solving days” as class rewards, thanks to Mrs. Bennet’s awesome idea! A few favorites and easy to finish within a class period include:
- Hedbanz – hilarious
- Bananagrams – good for older kids
- Connect Four – always a favorite
- Monopoly Deal – not to be confused with the never-ending Monopoly
- Jenga – this one is always the first to be picked, warning: its loud
- Uno – great for larger groups
- Sorry – oldie but goodie
A popular choice for Donor’s Choose projects are technology related. I will warn you that sometimes this can get tricky with schools and districts. For example, the technology might not be upgraded later or they may not be able to provide tech support. So, proceed with caution.
Just from browsing the site, I can see that iPads and Chromebooks seem to be a favorite request. But don’t forget to think outside of the box! Don’t have an interactive whiteboard? A Mimeo is an affordable alternative. Looking to promote a healthy lifestyle? Consider a class set of Fitbits. Wanting to incorporate technology as a station? You might benefit from headphones.
Also, don’t forget there are helpful technology storage options that will make your life easier and provide a way to keep the technology safe and long-lasting.
5. Field Trips
In middle school, it is a rare occurrence that students can attend field trips. They can be costly and conflict with standardized testing. However, an experience is something we remember and can impact our life for years to come. Also, while the tickets to said experience might be decently affordable, often it is the transportation costs that can really add up.
A few ideas to consider:
- A local museum
- A movie to see a novel that the class read
- A trip to volunteer at a local food bank
- A tour of a local community college
6. Small Group Materials
If you have been reading the blog for any number of months, you know how much I am a fan of small groups. So, think about how you can use Donor’s Choose to fund some of those small group materials. It might be that kidney bean or dry erase table you have been eyeing, or sets of manipulatives to use during small group time.
Donor’s Choose is an awesome way to get other people invested in your classroom, both monetarily (because they donate), but also because they get to see what you are doing and how you are impacting students.
If you are looking to get a project funded, don’t forget to share on Facebook, share on Instagram, send an email to the parents in your classroom, and watch for matching codes.
Finally, if you have any other Donor’s Choose Ideas for Middle School, I would love to hear about it in the comments!