Help our classroom purchase 6 computers to make our innovative instruction system still work with only one teacher.
I teach 6th Grade Math and Science to all kinds of learners in Philadelphia (ELL, SPED, General, IB). Over the years I have been developing a system of teaching that is more effective than the traditional rows of children listening to a teacher for the whole class.
My approach is to rotate groups of students through different learning stations throughout the period. This allows a diverse experience of each topic through group learning, teacher demonstrations and independent work. The independent work aspect is greatly enhanced when you employ computers correctly.
To do this I have a number of sites such as Study Island, Khan Academy, First In Math that I currently use to not only keep their learning focused but to collect individualized data about their progress. In addition I have created my own sites to enrich certain topics with explorations into 3D modeling, programming, blog construction and more. One of the key aspects of this is that the computer works as this fantastic incentive for them to work hard at the other stations.
For the past three years I have been using 3 stations because I have had the benefit of another adult in the room to help manage a station. This meant I only needed 9 or 10 computers.
This year, due to drastic budget cuts in Philadelphia I am alone with 32 or more kids in my classroom. I do not want to simply go back to old, inneffective whole class instruction methods. Thus, to continue utilizing my station model system I will need more computers and have less stations.
The plan is to have 2 stations. I will have half of the class with me for half of each period. We will go over new material together through learning activities and lessons. In addition I will provide direct assistance to as many students as possible. The other half of will be quietly working on the daily, computer based tasks and projects I create for them. This set up will work for both Math and Science. Thus, every student will enjoy about 35 minutes a day for each subject on the computer.
I am a strong believer that we need to educate children differently than we have in the past. Furthermore, the access that certain schools have to technology versus others is abysmal. To combat this, I have over the years collected and maintained a bunch of aging, donated computers. I have worked incredibly hard at using them to develop a multifacted way to engage as many students as I can.
This year however, I am faced with a larger challenge than I can handle alone. Therefore, I am asking as many people as possible to give what they can towards purchasing 5 new laptops.These will provide our classroom a chance to continue learning in an engaging, innovative way that is more in line with how people are working and learning everywhere else.
Thank you so much...
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