Help me give my students headphones and graphing calculators to allow more in-depth and personalized video and calculator lessons.
This project expired on January 20, 2020.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
I teach at a small charter school in Hayward where 75% of the students will be the first in their family to go to college. They are smart and inquisitive, and once I pique their curiosity, they ask the most incredibly insightful questions and stay after class to ask me how I know that absolute zero is really the lowest possible temperature.
These students do their best work when they are able to discuss concepts and ask a lot of questions.
They love doing inquiry-based labs in which they need to work out the logic on their own. They also respond very well to learning in more hands-on and practical ways rather than through a lot of lectures and reading.
My students are not very familiar with academic vocabulary, scientific concepts or scientific procedures, so I put a lot of emphasis on building their comfort level with all three. They are very good at helping each other when they realize that one of their classmates is confused. It's hard to imagine a group of students who could be any more rewarding to teach!
I currently have 20 headphones in my classroom, but I have 32 students per class. With these additional 12 headphones, I will be able to provide a pair to every student in the class. This will allow me to integrate videos and computer simulations into more of my lessons so that students can figure out and investigate scientific concepts in more depth and gain a better understanding of them. It gets far too loud in the classroom with sound coming from all of their computers, so I required it to be turned off for the simulations last year (the sound isn't necessary - it is just a lot more fun!). I asked the students who were watching videos without headphones to turn the sound way down. It doesn't feel very equitable to only be able to give some students headphones and not others, and It is very difficult to make sure that students get the headphones an equal number of times, so I have been putting off giving video and simulation assignments this year.
Even without enough headphones and with the sound turned down or off, students were very engaged in and learn a lot from the interactive video and simulation assignments.
I can't wait to see an even greater level of an engagement once we have a full classroom set of headphones!
I am also requesting 3 more graphing calculators. The majority of my students cannot afford to buy a graphing calculator even though this is a standard supply required in other math and science high school classroom. I find that this calculator is essential for teaching the advanced math skills that they need for chemistry, and that it helps them tremendously to to be able to use it on the SAT and ACT tests.
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