My students need calculators and a safe spot to store them. As our class transitions, or "loops", together from fifth to sixth grade, calculators are vital for each student's continued mathematics education.
I serve at a Title I school in Center City Philadelphia working to unlock the potential of some of the city's most under-served youth, who hail from neighborhoods all over the city. Where many schools have failed, our school has achieved excellence for our children through a rigorous college preparatory program and a commitment to peace and nonviolence in our community – both within our walls and beyond.
The environment our school provides is one in which our students feel safe enough to take the risks necessary for learning.
By providing a safe place and encouraging individuality, students achieve both academic and emotional growth that prepares them for the challenges they will face in college and beyond.
By engaging with our community, my students are disproving stereotypes and improving their neighborhoods. Because of our high standards and our commitment to each individual student’s potential, we are closing the gap between educational experiences that may have failed our children in the past and the incredible opportunities that lie ahead.
While calculators are not solely sufficient for helping students to excel in math, they are necessary in effectively and efficiently aiding students to grasp mathematical concepts and number-sense. For the past couple of school-years, my math classes have been relying on cheaply manufactured calculators purchased by me from the Dollar Store. Unsurprisingly or not, the majority of these calculators do not last through an entire school-year, and sometimes their individual lifespan is less than a day. If they do not already show up defective, sooner rather than later, they become so; the buttons easily fall off, the display-screens become incomprehensible to read and interpret, and/or they just simply stop working all together. My students are careful to protect and respect the few calculators we have left, however, oftentimes they still have to sacrifice mathematical accuracy by forgoing the use of the calculator when there is not enough time to take turns. A class-set of 30 calculators would allow each student to have access to a personal calculator that would be stored in their table bins. The storage bins will also be home to each groups' whiteboards+markers, rulers, and pencils. These supplies are shared daily by the students from each of my math classes, so it is essential that they are easily accessible.
Every minute of classroom time is precious; calculators and easy table storage will help us maximize our time and potential.
Bins for each table of students saves us transition time that would otherwise be wasted by continuously passing out materials. The bins will also help to avoid damage or loss to supplies by simply not having a dedicated space to store them.
I have also requested pencils and a "Turn-In-Your-Work" Organizer which will help to further compliment our storage solutions and transition routines for distributing + collecting papers.
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