I teach a diverse group of twenty-five English Language Learners. My students range from Kindergarten through 5th grade, with the largest cluster of students in the 4th grade.
The children I teach represent ten different countries and eight different languages, ranging from Spanish to Karen to Kiswahili, as well as many other languages in between.
In addition to their linguistic and cultural differences, my students vary wildly in ability levels and require a lot of differentiation, even within a small group.
I admire the positive attitude my students bring to school everyday. They might not always want to do every assignment I give them, but the smiles rarely leave their faces.
Having access to the internet will aid my students in a million and one ways. The majority of my students are pulled out of their classrooms to receive ESOL services. We have class wherever a space is available - the Media Center or an empty lab or classroom. I carry our materials around the school while I collect my students for class. Our school has some laptops in each classroom, but they are shared. It creates a logistical nightmare if we take a shared resource - a laptop - from the classroom for our exclusive use. Generally, we simply do not have access to them.
I believe in an inquiry-based classroom and encourage curiosity and student-led investigations.
My students are often required to do research, whether it is for a personal project or to meet a grade level standard, but our school lacks adequate print resources. The tablets would allow us to access current research as well as to download books to meet students' literacy needs. Additionally, digital devices increase student engagement and open a whole other world in regard to creative projects we can produce.
I also must rely on heavy differentiation within my grade level groups. Tablets would allow me to take advantage of the many interactive educational activities available on the internet to tailor individual lessons to meet the needs of my students. They could be used for all grade levels at different times, and hopefully by future students for years.
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