My students need 30 new 4-function solar calculators to practice problems on the district and state mathematics exams. The usage will ensure students success on math FCAT skills.
Students at my Title 1 school are at a socio-economic disadvantage. Many students can't afford basic food or clothing needs. 95% of my students are on free or reduced lunch. These students can't purchase calculators to do daily math exercises. Class sets are needed to increase their achievement.
These math students are academically challenged English Language Learners and Exceptional students from families that work 2 to 3 jobs.
Many of them have responsibilities that a middle school student should not have, such as jobs to financially help their families or caring for siblings while family members work.
Their love for math has not been nourished at home because of the lack of opportunity or the resources towards education.
My students are WONDERFUL! Some are able to attend morning tutoring and some stay for afternoon tutoring to learn mathematics. At least 20 of my math students consistently attend both morning and afternoon sessions. They are extremely motivated and dedicated in making a better life for themselves. Attending tutoring sessions is rewarding to my students because they have achieved higher levels on district tests. Attending tutoring and using calculators to practice math skills supports the foundation for them to learn the concepts in math. For example, my students scored higher on the Algebra I semester exam than the District average as a result of daily practice with calculators. This valuable tool will be used from year to year to increase student achievement. I feel as though I have selected a quality calculator that will withstand consistent daily use for years to come.
I know using these four function calculators will also improve their self-esteem.
As they see success in the classroom, they translate that success into their daily lives. With this improved self-image comes the desire that motivates more learning and regular attendance. Calculator usage for daily practice ensures successful acquisition of critical math skills they must master before taking this important state exam. The probability of my students entering college will dramatically increase.
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