Have you ever wished you were an octopus? I often get that feeling as I try to hold up all of the pieces of a game so that my entire class can see how to play. I want to be able to show my class all kinds of learning materials--in a really big way!
I have a class of 22 inquisitive first graders at a year round elementary school in North Carolina.
The class is very diverse, with students from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. One thing they all have in common is a natural curiosity and the desire to get as close as they can to every book, paper and other resource I show them.
Currently, whenever I pull out a new game in math, I try to place it in the middle of our circle. As we start to play, the students move closer and closer to the center so that they can see what is happening. Of course, this results in almost none of the students being able to see. As I explain math stations, the students all start to scoot up closer to me to get a better look at the materials. Having a document camera will allow me to project all of those materials up on the board, so that everyone will be able to see. I'd also be able to conduct a class science lesson where we all observe one organism or show the class an example of a classmate's writing. A document camera would enhance the learning that is happening in my classroom. I find myself wishing for one several times a day.
While some students learn by listening, there are many children who benefit from pairing the auditory with the visual.
A document camera will allow me to better meet the needs of all of the students in my classroom this year and in future years by showing them what I am talking about rather than just talking about it.
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