I teach in a low income, high poverty area. The school is located in an urban neighborhood in New York City where students live in apartment houses. 85% of our students are eligible for free and reduced lunches. The students are served breakfast, lunch and even an early dinner (for those students that stay for the after school program). Many of our students come to school hungry. As well, a majority of the population is eating potato chips and colored water for breakfast. Many students walk to school themselves, or with an older sibling.
I have 18 students of different ethnic backgrounds.
I have 7 students who do not speak English. The students speak Creole, Arabic, and Spanish. The students are African American, Haitian, Latino, Arabic, and Jamaican. For the majority of the students, this is their first educational experience. Many of them have not heard stories being read aloud. Many students do not have educational toys, such as blocks, and LEGO bricks at home.
The students come to my classroom to a place where they are comfortable: socially and emotionally. A place where they learn.
21st century skills begin by giving the children an opportunity to learn how to write code instead of just playing games. By using these tablets in the classroom, the children will be introduced to the 21st Century technology.
The tablets are the tools that will enable the students to use coding games such as Scratch Junior which was developed by teams of Tech Brains at MIT.
I want to give the inner city public school children in my classroom the same opportunities as the rest of the NYC.
For younger kids, the idea of writing code is far too much to imagine when they're just beginning to learn to read, write and transitioning to school. Using tablets with Scratch Junior is a good fit when the goal is introducing kids to programming concepts without all the complex programming.
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