I teach both math and social studies to 6th graders in a middle school setting. I have three English language learners, seventeen special ed students, and one accommodated core student, but all students have their strengths and challenges. 6th graders are young enough to still be "kids" but old enough to think independently and inquisitively. Because I have many of them for more than one subject, I get to see the students perform in different contexts. Sometimes they are better at one subject than the other, so I like to be able to build on whatever their strengths are to help them in what they need.
Students love real-world learning opportunities: virtual field trips, games where they can use their subject knowledge to win, or videos of how something we are doing in class is used in real life.
For math, I love to be able to show them real-life applications of the concepts they are learning. In social studies, they enjoy seeing the places they're learning about. Having technology available allows for immersive lesson activities that students can access independently.
Having their own personal chromebook computer has opened a whole new world of opportunities to learn for my students. They love learning by playing games, watching educational videos, and taking virtual field trips. And with their own computer, they are able to move at their own pace: students who have difficulty reading can use the text-reader to help them, students who need to re-watch a part of a video for clarification can hit replay, and students who finish early can go to the subject-related games.
It can get noisy when the whole class is trying to learn independently at the same time with computer activities that involve sound; having a class set of headphones will help keep their learning on track.
Currently, our building has limited sets of headphones for student use. Having a class set available would make it easier for them to easily access the learning activities with less distraction.
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