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Mrs. Van Marter from Shelton WA is requesting Instructional Technology through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Level the Playing Field: Reading Opportunities for Middle School Students

Help me give my students the opportunity to read materials in a manner scaffolded to their abilities with headphones.

  • $541 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...” It’s the epitome of the middle school experience. Discovering who you are, and the young adult you might be. My eighth graders are so open to learning in an engaging environment. They come in with hesitant smiles, hoping they won’t be embarrassed. They hope that maybe this will be the safe classroom, where growing and learning is recognized and supported.

Middle school students long to fit in with their peers.

While I do my best to support their social emotional needs, I simply can't ignore how it impacts their academic performance. Sometimes my students who struggle with reading or writing shy away from being singled out or separated from their peers. They want to feel like they can keep up with their peers. Unfortunately, they won't ask for help and will either try to stay as quiet as possible or divert the attention elsewhere. I am always looking for strategies to create equal opportunities for my students to grow together as a community.

In a time when inclusion is so important, it is imperative that I strive to create a classroom where the learning process is safe and supportive.

My Project

After extensive research with my co-teacher and title/ lap teacher, as well as attending several conferences on teaching English language learners, I have learned that one major way to "level the field" for readers is to have access to audio versions of the text we are learning. During the last three years, my co-teacher and I have scaffolded each lesson by playing the audio of the text aloud in the classroom along side of reading it with our eighth grade students who struggle to read on their own. We have found this to be extremely effective with increasing comprehension and retention. Adolescent students can move past decoding skills and word recognition that could be a block to develop real vocabulary and fluency skills as well as understand the meaning of the text.

Imagine a class where students who once struggled with reading and writing actually create business level presentations, capturing the critical thinking and creative ideas that they could only voice.

Purchasing headphones with mics gives every student in my classroom that chance. Every student could have access to listen to a text on their own time, for as many times as they needed. Students who struggle with writing could voice their thoughts into a document for editing. In asking for a class set of 30 headsets, this gives a chance for each class period to utilize this technology with their 1:1 devices.

Students are familiar with this technology. They use it in their free time, with gaming and social media. Headsets would be a highly engaging and motivating method to complete assignments that would normally be avoided due to fear of failure, or the fear of even trying. Help me expand the opportunities to allow my eighth graders to show everything they know.

Mrs. Van Marter
Grades 6-8
More than half of students from low‑income households

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
On Ear Headphones with Mic, Vogek Lightweight Portable Fold-Flat Stereo Bass Headphones with 1.5M Tangle Free Cord and Microphone-Black • Amazon Business $12.99 30 $389.70

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


Match offer toward project cost


Match offer to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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