ABSTRACT

Students from impoverished families often must cope with so much chaos in their lives that school becomes one of the few structured places where they can feel secure. According to Jensen, the brains of babies are hardwired for only six emotions: joy, anger, surprise, disgust, sadness, and fear. When Margot and Leslie first began teaching, they set up their new classrooms and arranged materials to have everything they needed at their fingertips. When crossing the threshold into Margot’s primary classroom, most people get a calming sense of order. Leslie’s classroom is also organized, but the atmosphere is a bit more playful. Choosing the right vocabulary words is usually challenging for teachers. Several years ago Brenda was leading a workshop with middle school teachers from nine different school districts. Planning a word-rich classroom means making sure the environment is conducive to vocabulary learning.