My students need a tablet computer in order to access online support materials and video tutorials.
Imagine trying to solve equations of graph lines if you can't add or subtract. Some of my students are faced with this challenge.
I teach a class called AIMS (academic intervention for mathematical success).
It is a support class designed to help students who are struggling with Algebra 1. This year our school cut our Pre-Algebra class. Many students who were planning on taking that course have been forced to enroll in Algebra 1 and simply aren't ready for it. I was walking a student through the steps of solving a simple inequality problem. I told him he needed to divide both sides of the inequality by three, and he told me that he didn't know division. My heart breaks for this student because I don't have the time or resources to teach him multiplication tables or division when I am trying to guide an entire class with varying abilities through Algebra. I can tell that this student and others are embarrassed at their lack of understanding and have developed low mathematical self esteem, and over time they often attempt to avoid mathematics all together.
I am very excited about the educational opportunities that the Internet offers this generation of math students. I have spent a great deal of time putting together an elaborate website linking to online course materials like online practice quizzes and tests, video tutorials, and practice modules. I have realized that the students who need this support most often don't use it. It would be great to be able to have a student view a video tutorial or work with a practice module right at their desk when I have identified that their is a gap in their previous knowledge. Many of my students really need one on one help, and I am stretched much to thin to be able to accommodate all of their needs. A tablet computer would be great because I could locate the appropriate materials quickly and have a student work on something for a few minutes while I circulate. Students who have been absent could also catch up while I am directing their classmates.
This project will help students jump hurdles that will potentially haunt them for the rest of their academic careers.
At this point the education system has failed these students. They have slipped through the cracks and have major holes in their understanding of mathematics. A new approach might make all the difference in the world and open up all sorts of possibilities to them.
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