Can you remember what it felt like when you were first trained to look for antagonist antics, rising action and the denouement of the stories you read in English class? Do you recall how it felt when you were told that you could no longer read a story in class without having to dissect it, seemingly ad nauseam? The magic started to disappear and you longed to lose yourself in a book of your choice instead of having to steel yourself for another essay contrasting the merits of this character or that. My eighth grade students have started to experience this leap to higher thinking and while I try to support my colleagues' efforts toward this goal, I experience great difficulty when I ask those same students to read for science class. The desire to enter a new environment through the written word is almost nonexistent for them and I am struggling to motivate with limited resources.
The textbooks we have are circa 1995 and I have two computers available for students to utilize during class without having to book our shared computer lab weeks in advance. I'm of the opinion that my students should have access to science writing that is grade-level appropriate, that meets their needs and that encourages the habit of reading about science as a lifelong, interesting, provocative, daily exercise. In a perfect world, this would mean that they all would satisfy that goal by reading periodical materials geared for the middle school student. Unfortunately, I have many students who read several grades below their current placement.
I have tried to solve this problem myself with single subscriptions to various magazines. When you teach 85 students a day, those single copies don't last a week and I can't afford to subsidize the reading part of my curriculum on my own. I have also tried bringing in local free newspapers, but these are not necessarily the most unbiased representations of the truth, nor are they much more than a source for the most generalized and sensationalized blurbs of events at least a few days old. My students pay more attention to counting the typos than they do to the details of the short articles. We live in rural, northern New Hampshire and have limited access to inexpensive national and international print news. The solution is to try to obtain more periodicals that provoke discussion and debate, that encourage interest and the desire to learn more. This proposal request will do this and provide enough copies that multiple children can utilize the resources in a more equitable manner.
You'll never really know just how your contribution impacted my students because the greatest influence will be in what they discover about the world outside our rural region. They will, in turn, think differently about their insular environment and see the possibilities that the wide world can offer them. Doors will be opened and resources like these truly help "flatten" the planet and make anything possible. Oh, and I will experience the daily pleasure of seeing kids engaged in reading interesting materials without complaint. Students ask when the next shipment is to arrive and if they may get "first dibs" with the newest issues. There is something to be said for a crisp, clean, un-thumbed copy of a magazine and their attitude tells me that the magic is still very real, despite the dissection in English classes. Thank you for your consideration of this request. We appreciate your generous gift.
|TIME For Kids Magazine- World Report Edition w/ TFK Around the World (grades 4-6). Pricing is valid for orders placed after March 2008. After August 15th of current school year, pricing will remain in effect but TIME For Kids reserves the right to prorate issue quantity and free gifts. Only valid for orders in quantities of 10 or more. Orders for less than 10 subscriptions will NOT be fulfilled. • Time for Kids||$4.88||22||$107.36|
|Current Science • Weekly Reader||$22.33||2||$44.66|
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