Have you ever watched 10 anxious little 4th grade girls, waiting for the teacher to tell them it is computer center time,and they walk race to get the computer that works? While the girls are trying to get the only 5 classroom computers to work, the 10 very anxious 4th grade boys are just waiting to jump in their seats, claiming the girls left their chair so it was now their turn. Next, the teacher is correcting the boys while the girls are trying to get back in their chair and boom! all the computers go blank because someone tripped on the cord. Sounds like a comic strip, but it happens. The worst part is when the teacher has on sandles and she gets a toe crunch! The principal walks in to see if the class is on task, and is glad to see the students engaged in researching on the Internet, while the teacher smiles trying not to give away her pain with crunched toes.
I would rather have one new workable computer than 5 that may or may not. Two students at a time can work on 1 computer, research, print the information out and go back to their desk and work on their lesson. I know the introduction sounded a little "out of control", but believe me my students are well behaved, just hungry to learn.
A new computer can do a lot in the classroom. When I discuss history with the timeline or an author with a reading story, I can quickly turn around, look it up and print it out for the students. The best part is emailing an author about his/her story and the author emails back. They get so excited! My students also like the www.timeforkids.com; CNN News for Students; SAT 10 Question of the Day; Accelerated Reader with instant feedback; Accelerated Math; and of course all the fun educational websites with games. The really fun one is Kids College with SAT 10 practice questions. After they answer three correct answers they get to play a sport. It's exciting! I played it with them.
Supporting projects are a great educational investment. The students have the opportunity to engage in research, enhance their learning skills, and write thank you letters or notes of concern to express their feelings. This year I have watched my students grow with compassion for others around the world. This is just October. Can you imagine how thoughtful they will be by May 2009?
Thank you for all that you do for our kids.
Have A Great Day!
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