Throughout the school year, students in my Seventh Grade ELA class learn to make successful arguments through writing pieces with several themes, starting with "Hot Topics," such as, "Should students be able to use their cell phones during school time?" Later on, we look at major issues surrounding their community, such as child abuse, gang violence, and drug use. Finally, we take it outside their isolated neighborhood and into the world, reading about issues going on in the world today (such as sex slaves, child labor, and the prison labor system). We discuss whether or not these social problems can be considered slavery, and what can be done on a local and global level to make a change. We move toward making successful arguments for our opinions through lists, graphic organizers, outlines, and finally the finished product -- editorials. Making a successful argument relies heavily upon the facts one can find to support his/her opinion. Having more laptop computers in our classroom will allow the students to learn valuable research skills, adding real-life examples to the "Yes or No" surveys, observations, and local interviews they are limited to at the current time. It will also expose the students to real pictures and video of current issues, including slavery, around the world. The neighborhood my students live in is surrounded by water on three sides and a highway on the fourth. Many of them do not leave the neighborhood often. Their knowledge of the world is limited, and most of their views are gathered from watching television shows targeted toward teens. Being able to see materials from around the world would be amazing for them, and I hope will help them make the connection that there is an entire world out there, past the highway and beyond the waterfront. This past summer, a burglary at our school more than halved the number of laptops available to our grade. As of today, we have less than ten laptops for over fifty seventh graders, split between four classrooms. Having a total of 25 would be ideal. Since our school is Title I, and low performing (although getting better!), we do receive funds that other schools might not. However, we have yet to be able to replace the laptops that were stolen this past summer, and as a teacher who used them in my classroom on a daily basis (for research, word processing, and reward), I am feeling the impact. I spend much time out of the classroom looking for resources for the students to use. In addition, student work has yet to be typed for display, as it was last year and the year before. But more importantly, the students are not getting the experience of finding the information on their own and seeing first hand what the world is really like. As a teacher, I always want to give my students the world. Replacing those laptops will help me do that.
|Gateway(R) MX3210 14quot Widescreen Notebook Computer With Intel(R) Celeron(R) M Processor 360 Operating At 14GHz • Office Depot Inc.||$679.99||10||$6,799.90|
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