Our school is a small urban middle and high school in which 84% of students are classified as high needs. 78% of the students speak another language as their first language, 65% are classified as economically disadvantaged and 12% have been identified with learning disabilities. Add that up, and you have a population that needs to overcome a variety of challenges. Fortunately, Claremont is a place where the staff and students work hard to create a positive, mutually supportive learning environment. In a survey last year, 74% of respondents reported that they felt other students respected their voice, and 84% reported that teachers respected them. The core value of our school and of my classroom is Ubuntu, which means "I am, because we are."
Though my ninth grade students struggle with poverty, language barriers, disabilities, and adolescent attention spans, they are intellectual, creative, and courageous.
They complete activities and investigative tasks, they carry on college-level discussions, and solve complex and multistep problems.
In past years, my students have used computers to do research projects, or to complete online assignments on Khan Academy or the assessments on the textbook’s website. Just recently they completed a research project about the Golden Ratio, where they had to complete this project in four different components. Aside from researching and investigating the Golden Ratio as a math concept, they had to also create an English essay about the role of the Golden Ratio in the beauty, Golden Ratio and its role in the human body and DNA, and the Golden Ratio during the industrial revolution.Also, I would like to incorporate more technology into my lessons and utilize online assessment tools that would possibly motivate my students to succeed.
Unfortunately, our school is now 20% beyond capacity, which means more and more competition for our limited number of computers.
Further diminishing our computer time is the fact that, though they come with no additional funding, standardized tests like MAPs, Accuplacer, and ACCESS tests require computers. The MCAS, too, is moving in that direction.
Additional computers will not only allow students to continue doing research projects, but will also offer them some time familiarize themselves with the technical part of mathematics such as graphing, transforming, effects of changing the slope of a line etc.
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